Stuart Scott on the Beauty of Community

Stuart Scott was to me as Johnny Carson was to my parents. For the last twenty years, on nights when I would watch TV, it was often SportsCenter with Stuart Scott. Hearing “boo-yah,” “lobbing the alley, freaking the oop,” or “as cool as the other side of the pillow” made the highlights more special than they even were.

Scott battled cancer and died earlier this week. I have prayed for his daughters and those close to him. He recently gave a speech at the annual ESPY awards, where he received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.

The speech paints a powerful and beautiful picture of community. Stuart Scott realized he could not fight alone, could not continue alone. He confessed his need for others to fight on his behalf. And he rejoiced in the friends and family who did. The entire speech can be viewed here, but here are some poignant sections about fighting together in community.

When you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest, and let somebody else fight for you… I can’t do this “Don’t give up” thing all by myself.

I just got out of the hospital this past Friday, seven-day stay. Man, I crashed. I had liver complications. I had kidney failure. I had 4 surgeries in a span of 7 days… I couldn’t fight. But doctors and nurses could. People that I love, my friends and family, they could fight. My girlfriend, who slept on a very uncomfortable hospital cot by my side every night, she could fight.

The people that I love did last week what they always do. They visited. They talked to me. They listened to me. They sat silent sometimes. They loved me. 

This whole “Fight this journey” thing is not a solo venture. This is something that requires support. I called my big sister, Susan, a few days ago. Why? I needed to cry. It is that simple. And I know that I can call her.

In the same way, we can’t walk the Christian life all by ourselves. The Christian life is not a solo venture. We can’t fight all by ourselves. We need community. We need others to fight alongside us, to fight for us at times. Because of this, believers are commanded to “carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Community is sweetest when we realize our weakness. And we are all weak, all in desperate need of His grace in our lives.