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A Giving Heart

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.1

“From a very young age Konrad Reuland had exceptional energy, so his family chose to harness that energy by enrolling him in youth sport leagues. At age 11, Konrad had an experience that changed his life forever. Hall of Famer Rod Carew visited his school to meet and encourage the children. The Los Angeles infield had been Rookie of the Year in 1967 and an All-Star for 18 consecutive seasons. He was 1977 American League MVP and the winner of seven batting titles. He was a legend in the LA area.

Konrad met him personally. His mom remembers that the encounter was all Konrad could talk about when she picked him up from school that day:

And I remember him getting into the car when I went to pick him up, and he said, ‘Mommy! Mom! Mom! I met Rod Carew today!’ And ‘You know, he was a pro athlete!’ ‘You know, I want to be a pro athlete!’ And the whole rest of the day just resonated with him talking about his meeting Rod Carew. It sure left an impression on young Konrad.

Later, in college, Konrad played football for two years for Notre Dame and two years at Stanford. He then played for the New York Jets where he caught 11 passes during his first year. He was just beginning to be recognized as a rising star when a knee injury knocked him out of the sport he loved. When he finally recovered, NFL teams were reluctant to take a chance on him, but this didn’t stop Konrad from preparing for the shot he was sure would be right around the corner. He was, by all accounts, in the best shape of his life.

One day, while in the gym, Konrad climbed onto a treadmill. He had a headache, and as he began to jog, Konrad felt something click behind his right eye. Paramedics were called and by the time he was admitted to UCLA Medical Center, EMS had diagnosed him with a major aneurysm.

The next day his mother sent him an encouraging message. Konrad replied:” I’m about to kick this thing, with the help of God. He has something big in store for me.” That was the last conversation she would have with her son. Shortly after, the aneurysm burst, and Konrad never regained consciousness. On Dec. 12, 2016, Konrad Reuland was declared brain dead at the age of 29.

His mother remembers speaking with a member of the transplant organization:
“We would like to meet whoever gets his heart.’ ‘And whoever gets his heart better deserve it, because it’s a good one.”’

The recipient, in the providence of God, happened to be Rod Carew, the same MLB hall of famer who had been so instrumental in encouraging young Konrad 18 years earlier. The heart Carew had inspired would now be the heart that saved his life.”

Wherever we find ourselves, may we always respond generously to the opportunities that God gives us to help and encourage others. These same folks may be the ones God uses to help us in our time of need as well.

Suggested prayer: Lord, you have been so good to me. Help me never withhold kindness and generosity from those you place in my path. Your plan for my life may be unknown to me at the moment, but every interaction can be used for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.


1.    Luke 6:38 (NIV).



Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.