Does the name Karl Downs sound familiar to you? I wouldn’t think so. He was a pastor in Oakland, California, several years ago. He died of a heart attack when he was a young man.
But several years before his death, the Juvenile Court in his city asked him to take responsibility for a young guy who seemed to be constantly getting in trouble. Karl Downs accepted the challenge. He became a substitute father for the kid.
The name of Karl Downs is not familiar to us, but I feel pretty sure that we have heard of the kid. His name was Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major league baseball in the modern era of baseball. He was an amazing baseball player and a wonderful person.
So think about this. If it were not for Karl Downs, we wouldn’t have been touched by the life of Jackie Robinson.
Catherine of Siena, one of the two patron saints of Italy, said in the 14th century, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
One person can really make a difference. A big difference.