David Justice and an 11-year old Rawsrvnt
Long before Rawsrvnt was known for being a Hip Hop Worship Pioneer or a participant on the reality TV show, Donald J. Trump presents The Ultimate Merger, he was 11-year-old Eddy Puyol who dreamed of one day meeting his favorite baseball player and childhood hero: 2-time World Series Champion David Justice. It was 1991 and a young Rawsrvnt was rapping for Jesus and pursuing a local art school for their journalism department. In hopes of impressing the art school, Puyol got the attention of David Justice who was in Puyol's hometown for spring training.
With his mom by his side and his pastor as the camera man, Puyol was about to have the most important interview of his life. David Justice was only a few feet away answering questions to a small group of reporters in the dugout. With a confident wry smile, David Justice remarked, "Excuse me gentlemen, I'm about to speak to a young broadcaster that will be taking your job soon." Those words of affirmation forever changed Puyol's life. David Justice put his arm around a young Rawsrvnt and encouraged him like a big brother. That was the beginning of their relationship where Puyol and Justice would meet during spring training while Justice was with the Atlanta Braves. Over the years, Justice grew into a top-notch slugger and Puyol grew into a young journalist in heading both a sports column and morning news show for his art school.
Twenty years after their initial interview, Eddy was sharing this treasured childhood memory yet again. This time, it was over a last-minute lunch we had after finding on Twitter that Eddy was in my town for his younger brother Bobby Puyol's football camp at Duke University. Eddy told the story with childlike wonder in his eyes as he recounted all the ways in which Justice inspired him. "David Justice perfectly demonstrated the love of the Father in that although I didn't know him and had nothing to offer to him, he wanted to spend time with me and give me all that he had." But in Puyol's gushing gratitude, there was a strong sense that the story was incomplete. In between his younger brother's sessions, Puyol reached out to David Justice with this tweet:
Though they haven't seen each other in years, Rawsrvnt had an unyielding faith that one day he would reunite with his childhood hero. Rawsrvnt knew that if he was "willing, available, and obedient, God would give him the desires of his heart." And just that happened:
Twitter may have been the tool, but God was the guiding force that brought their relationship full circle. Rawsrvnt is now impacting youth across the world in communicating God's love through his life and his music. "I learned from David Justice at a young age that regardless of your accomplishments everyone is valuable."
And 20 years later, David Justice is still showing Eddy Puyol that he's valuable. In many ways, this has just begun.
To be continued.
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