In 1993, Reggie White got a message on his answering machine. "Reggie, this is God," it said. "Go to Green Bay."
White immediately signed with the Packers.
No, it was not God reaching out to the 300-pound defensive lineman. It was Green Bay Packer coach Mike Holmgren. But White, be it from spirituality, stupidity, or both, took the message at its face value.
For Reggie White was a very very spiritual man. "The Minister of Defense" he was called on the field, and an Evangelical minister he was off it. An Evangelical minister who found time to offend Asians and Latinos, Native Americans and homosexuals.
But not Jews. Somehow Jews escaped White's stereotypical rants. For late in his life, he started to learn Hebrew so he could read the Torah in its original language. He wanted to study God's word.
But did he want to become a Jew?
Jew for Jesus, perhaps. But a full-fledged conversion? It wasn't happening. This is the man who said "God will not ask me how many Pro Bowls I was in, He will ask me if I knew Jesus."
Just as well. We're not exactly clamoring for Evangelical ministers who think God leaves messages on their answering machine to join our ranks... no matter how many Pro Bowls they were in.