“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” — Matthew 7:12
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Sadly, Angi and Casey never knew each other. What great friends they surely would have been. They were both proud to be outspoken daughters of God and mothers of high school football players. Oh, and one more little thing: The teams their sons played on were intense rivals.
Angi and Casey never actually got to meet. In fact, they were only in the same location four times — two football games in Levelland, Texas, and two in Pampa, Texas. They never even sat on the same side of the field. Each time, one of them was on the home side, while the other was on the visitor’s. Every time one of them was happy and cheering, the other was probably sad.
On Thursday night, Oct. 27, 2016, the Levelland Lobos traveled to Harvester Stadium for the sequel to what had been an explosive competition in 2015. Before the game began, because it was senior night, the Pampa Harvesters honored the players in their final year. However, there was something special planned that night.
One of Pampa’s seniors, Brendon Woelfle, was dealing with more off the field than on it. His mom, Angi, was declining in her second battle with cancer. She had won her first battle almost 15 years earlier, but this battle was going the other direction. Each senior on Pampa’s football team gave Angi a rose that night to show their support and love. During that part of the evening, Casey Critchfield, a mother of one of the players on the Lobos, got the message of what was taking place on the field. She was heartbroken for the Woelfles.
Even though the Lobos won convincingly that night, Casey couldn’t get the Woelfles out of her mind and heart. One day while on Facebook, Casey learned that Angi had passed away. She contacted her fellow moms on the Levelland moms Facebook page about doing something for Brendon. They all agreed and gave gifts of love. Casey called Pampa High School and decided to give gift cards for Chicken Express, Pizza Hut and Academy Sports in Amarillo. The gift cards were inside of a card with these handwritten words:
“Brendon, Many prayers have been sent for you and your family.
We wanted to do something to let you know we are thinking of you all. We understand your mom was a very special person. We will continue to pray for you. From our football family to yours.
Thinking of you, The Levelland Lobos.”
This isn’t a football story. This is a true story of two moms — one who sought to practice the Golden Rule up to the moment she took her final breath, and the other who was spurred on by her Heavenly Father to practice the Golden Rule for a family she didn’t even know. Both Angi and Casey challenge us to see past the temporary things like football games and to see the truly important things in life.
Who can you do something special for? Who needs the encouragement that only a stranger can give? How can each of us turn the world upside down by practicing the Golden Rule with our opponents? It is easy to say we are followers of Jesus Christ, but it is harder to let our light shine in a world of darkness so that others may glorify our Heavenly Father.
Lord, help us each be more like Angi and Casey. Amen.
— Mike Sublett, Pastor of Hi-Land Christian Church, Pampa, Texas
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