She waited nine years before finally receiving her season tickets in 1996. Even though she worked out of state for the next nine years, she returned to Denver for as many games as she could. When she couldn’t make it back, she had friends send overnight parcels with VHS tapes of the broadcast. A college professor, she warned students that she would fail them if they told her the outcome of the game before she watched the video.
Kara returned to Denver in 2005 and has rarely missed a game since. She arrives at the stadium several hours early to greet the players, then cheers from the stands. Fans know her as “The Bronco Lady” who wears a big orange wig (the Broncos’ colors are orange and blue). Most don’t know that she is terminally ill with breast cancer.
When the team learned of Kara’s illness, they gave her a field pass for their AFC championship game against the Patriots and a football signed by every player on the team. In gratitude, she took out a half-page ad in The Denver Post for “my beloved Denver football team.” She said, “You shall never know how much your kindness and support has meant to me throughout my illness. An autographed football has made the darkest days shine brightly with an orange glow. A hug has given me the strength to remain Bronco tough. A field pass has given me the encouragement to make it through another day. A phone call has meant the orange and blue world to me.”
Kara won two Super Bowl tickets through the team’s season-ticket lottery and will be at Sunday’s game. Her ad concludes, “I was born a Bronco, I bleed orange and I will proudly die a Bronco.”
We seldom know the impact our lives have on other lives. Oswald Chambers observed that “a river reaches places which its source never knows.” When Moses descended from meeting with God atop Mt. Sinai, he “did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” (Exodus 34:29), but the nation saw what he did not (v. 30).
Our influence can be for good or for bad. Last weekend I was walking in our neighborhood and came across an ice slick blanketing the entrance to our subdivision. It was clear that someone left their lawn sprinklers on during the night, despite the hard freeze that was predicted. Walking further up the street, I found the guilty residence—14 houses away. And I noted that influence, like water, runs downhill.
You don’t have to be a president delivering a State of the Union address to change the world. If you will make Christ the King of your day and seek to glorify him in all you do, your words and works will scatter the seed of his love wherever you go. Some will fall on hard soil, but some will produce a great harvest (Matthew 13:1-9).
Alfred North Whitehead noted that great people plant trees they’ll never sit under. How great will you be today?