On March 5, 2008, Eve Carson, student body president at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was shot and killed by 21-year old Demario James Atwater and 17-year Laurence Alvin Lovette, Jr. At their separate trials, both young men were found guilty and are currently serving life sentences in prison.
Three days after Eve’s murder, the North Carolina Tar Heels, at that time the #1 ranked team in the AP Top 25 Poll, were scheduled to play their archrival, #6 ranked Duke Blue Devils, at Duke’s home court, Cameron Indoor Stadium. If you know anything about college basketball, you know that there is no bigger rivalry than these two schools located just eight miles apart. But rivalry aside, what happened that night paints a beautiful picture for all of us about compassion and caring, for both friend and foe.
Duke’s basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, contacted UNC coach Roy Williams to request permission to hold a joint moment of silence before the game. The Duke fans, known as Cameron Crazies, wore their customary royal blue Duke apparel, but they also wore light blue (called Carolina Blue by UNC fans) ribbons as a tribute to Eve Carson. Prior to the game there was a moment of silence with both teams, players and coaches, not at their respective benches, but rather stretched across the foul lines. In this rare show of camaraderie, coaches, players and spectators stood together, united on the things that really matter in life, in this case, honoring and remembering Eve Carson.
(In case you are wondering, UNC won the game 76-68 and received the top seed in the upcoming ACC tournament.)
The troubles in this world are endless. You do not have to watch the nightly news to know that this world is full of people who are hurting. You only need to look down the street you live on, in the cubicle next to yours, or maybe simply across the dinner table! The Bible tells us that we are to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col 3:2),” but when we are faced with unemployment, health issues, relational issues, aging parents, rebellious children, marriages on the rocks, just to name of few, it sometimes becomes hard to focus on “things above” when the “earthly things” are weighing us down. The Bible also tells us that we should be aware of and ready to share each other’s burdens. In Galatians 6:2 we read these words from the apostle Paul, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When someone staggers, we should help steady their load. If they are straining, we can help bear that burden. And if they have tripped and fallen, we can to lift them up.
The world famous philosopher Charlie Brown once said to Linus, “Listen, Linus, friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who comes and stands by your side in bad times.”
So today, look to your left then to your right, and you will likely see a person who could use a friend. Be a true friend to someone today!!