This past weekend I attended a journalism conference with a few of my coworkers, I work as a writer for my school’s magazine. Throughout the weekend we had a few keynote speakers, but one really stood out to me; Ted Jackson.
Ted was speaking to us because of his career in photojournalism. At first, I was unenthused at the idea of ANOTHER speaker. We had already sat through so many. However, it didn’t take long before I was fully involved in what Ted had to say, he had such an incredible story to tell.
I’ll give you a brief summary of Ted’s story, but I will link the article that he wrote about it below.
One day in 1990, Ted had gone under an overpass in New Orleans to take pictures and ended up meeting a man after taking this picture of him:
He and the man had a quick conversation and after Ted mentioned he worked as a journalist the man said, “You should write a story about me.” The man ended up being Jackie Wallace, a former player for the NFL who had played in 3 Super Bowls and was now living under a bridge.
Needless to say, Jackie had a story and Ted wanted to tell it. If you want to read the rest of the story, here is the link. I’m going to skip ahead a bit from here.
Three years later, Jackie appeared in Ted’s office and told him this:
“Do you believe in miracles?”
Jackie had come to tell Ted that had he successfully gone through a 12-step program, found work, moved into an apartment, and was engaged. He didn’t know how else to explain it other than claiming it as a miracle, and it truly was.
This story was an incredible encouragement to me when I heard it this weekend, and it really made me think about how you never really know who you’re talking to, and you never really know how much of an impact you can make in their life with a simple conversation.
I highly encourage reading the rest of Ted’s story about Jackie in the link above, but I just wanted to highlight how miraculous this part of Jackie’s life was and how miraculous it is that Ted was led to his camp that day.
Until next time,