On Christmas Day, a young man from Austin, Texas suffered a heart attack and passed away. The heart attack was the result from this young man’s life-long battle with a heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. His name is Ben Breedlove and, on December 18th of this year, he posted a now-viral Youtube video outlining his experience with this disease.
Except for those who are good at searching Youtube, Ben’s family and perhaps facebook friends, not many people had seen his famous note card video. Since his death, the video now has over 2.6 million views, countless comments, and new videos inspired by his. I used Ben and his story as a point for prayer last night, and here’s what I learned from Ben Breedlove:
Ben wrote about God and angels on his note cards and showed the world his genuine faith in them. Ben and his story have appeared on major news networks, newpapers, and all over facebook. He and his disease captivated the world, but only after his death. In a similar way, Christ and his disease, which is our sin, captivated the world after his own death on the Cross. Ben truly lived a counter-cultural life and was, firstly, a witness to Christ’s love.
Ben had every reason to hate the world and despise God; he had every reason to turn away from Christ and live his life suffering from his disease he did not deserve to have. In his video, as passed from note card to note card, he was smiling; his peace was radiative. He didn’t turn away from God, rather he gave his disease to Him and thus it was his peace, joy, happiness, and courage which captivated the world. God made use of Ben and his situation through YouTube that we must give all of our burdens and sufferings freely over to Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus encourages us to do this very thing; if we hand over our burdens to Christ, He becomes our saving victim. Christ then becomes our burden and, as He testifies, “My yolk is easy, My burden is light” (Mt 11:30).
Ben was also a witness to and example of love and humility. Because of this, Ben’s story has been and is being told to countless numbers. By his persistence during his life, Ben has been exalted after his death. More than this, his faith in God has brought him to the place of ultimate exaltation and rejoicing with God and his communion of saints in Heaven.
Let us pray for the repose of his soul and may God bless you all.
RIP Ben Breedlove, 1993-2011.