By Paul McGrady, Assistant Athletic Director

As a friend of mine likes to remind me......"Sometimes the line between heaven and earth becomes so thin that they almost touch each other!" Yesterday, I experienced the merging of two worlds as I knelt to pray beside a student-athlete. He had recently told another athletic staff member that before he came to SNU he had never heard the gospel or of God's love. He comes from a rough place. His world has always been so very much different for him than the God-sheltered world that some of us enjoy.

For a few minutes yesterday we 'put everything on the table' and we 'got real'. The barriers broke down and we were painfully honest and it was liberating. An SNU staff member and I knelt down beside the young man and asked him a simple but profound question, "Do you believe in Jesus?" He nodded his head and said quietly but assuredly "Yes". I asked him if I could pray for him. I began to pray the blood of Jesus over his life. I asked Jesus to claim this young man's life and forever hold him in His Mighty Hand. The staff member asked him if he could give him a hug and they embraced and the cold hard crust that the world tends to put upon a person's life began to melt away on all three of us.

We walked out the door, my new brother and I. I looked at him and I said, "You know sometimes the margin of our lives being good or bad is pretty thin. I think God just saved your life." He smiled and nodded his head, "I feel good!" He went on, "You know I like this place, I don't have to look around and wonder if I might get shot at."

We laughed and walked together as the Oklahoma sun shone down upon us.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.
Paul McGrady is in his seventh season as the Associate Athletic Director at Southern Nazarene University. McGrady, a graduate of East Central University, began his coaching career at Southern Nazarene in 1986 when he was named an assistant men's basketball coach. In 1994, McGrady spearheaded the start of the men's and women's cross country programs at SNU. He later served as the head football coach for SNU from 1999-2005. Paul and his wife Dana, have two children; a daughter named Chris Ann, and a son named Garrett.