“When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well.”  You’ll probably never guess who these words of Jesus remind me of, but I do think a number of you (especially Eagles’ fans) will remember him once I say his name.  Well, they remind me of Ty Detmer, a quarterback who played for the Eagles for a short time in the 1990s. You might remember also, his younger brother Koy, who was a third string QB for the Eagles for several years up until about 10 years ago.  Anyway, Ty was a fill in for a short time for Randall Cunningham. And he did make quite a splash for several weeks. He defied the experts who said he was too short to be a successful NFL quarterback for a few weeks winning (I think!) 5 games in a row.  But then, reality set in. His short stature prevented him from seeing over the opposing defensive lines and his passes, which somehow evaded the hands of the defenders for the first several games evaded them no more. It got ugly, real fast. Just like that, he almost could not complete a pass, let alone be competitive in a game.  It all came to a climax during Monday Night Football game against, who else, the Dallas Cowboys. Ty had beaten them in his previous meeting, but not this time. In one series he was sacked on three successive plays. I forget the score (I know we lost by a lot) but what I do remember is the words of a Dallas defensive linemen which were spoken about Ty after the game. He said that at the end of one of those sacks, as he was literally laying on top of Ty, he said to him, “Rookie, I hope you’re ready for this because we will be coming every play.”  Ty’s response was very simple. He said, “I’ll be here.”   I remember this because I think it gives us a glimpse into what Jesus means when he talks about turning the other cheek.  It’s not about weakness, it’s about strength, it’s about being there, it’s about choosing not to make the same kind of choice that everyone else makes. Isn’t that what Jesus did? Isn’t his death on the cross the ultimate turning of the other cheek?  Isn’t it the ultimate statement of what it means to be there and not being like everyone else?  Remember, Jesus consistently teaches us that we are not to think and behave like the rest of the world does. We are called to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

AuthorCathy Remick