A high school football player has been praised for his compassion after stopping to pray with an opponent after their game. Texas players Gage Smith and Ty Jordan were pictured kneeling down together in prayer following the game between Sherman and Mesquite High Schools.
Smith reportedly asked Jordan if he could pray with him after learning that his mother had stage 4 lung and bone cancer.
“It was meant for just me and him to have a moment and to pray over his family and for his mom,'' Smith told TODAY. "I just wanted to let him know there are other people thinking about him and his family, and let him know he has somebody to turn to."
An incredible image of the pair kneeling on the football field seeking the Lord together was snapped by the wife of Smith’s head coach, before being passed on to Jordan’s aunt Takka. Takka then posted the photo to Facebook where it went viral. According to ABC 8 News, the photo received more than 140,000 shares before Takka removed it from public view on Tuesday.
Smith was astonished that the photo had gotten so much attention. He told ABC 8 News, “To see that it blew up I was very surprised by it, and I wasn’t expecting it to be like that you know, I was just doing it for him and doing it for his mom and his family.”
Ty’s mother Tiffany Jordan, told TODAY that seeing the photo made her “speechless.”
"It made me cry,” She continued, “[Smith] didn't have to do that. The fact that he took the time to pray with Ty for me, that took my breath away."
Sherman won the regular-season game 56-27, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
"I would've done that whether we would've won or lost,'' Smith said. "During the game we're enemies and we're gonna play and try to win the game, but you still have that respect for the other opponent. I wanted to do that for him.
Coach J.D. Martinez praised Smith’s actions calling him a “true leader” who is full of compassion.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Tobies Mom, this is a stock photo
Video courtesy: ABC 8 News
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.