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Tony and Evie

Tony was a nationally recognized entertainer who had achieved the pinnacle of success in his profession. Evie was unemployed, homeless, and abandoned. Theirs was a totally chance meeting that would change both of their lives forever.

On a May evening in 1990 she followed the crowd into the bright lights, sounds, and smells of his show. The prospect of some free food was undoubtedly the single greatest attraction for her that evening. She really had no interest in the event but in the confusion of the crowd she soon found herself right in the middle of it.

Her appearance and the fact that she was obviously out of place quickly captured the eye of every person in the audience and soon Evie, not Tony, was the center of attention. There were catcalls and taunts, and when Evie realized that all eyes were on her she began to panic.

She started to run but found herself face to face with Tony himself. He could see the fear in her eyes and in a moment of compassion he took her into his own dressing room. After the show he took Evie to his own home where his wife, Elaine, welcomed her and she spent the night.

The next day Tony took her to a shelter, but when he discovered the deplorable conditions there he knew he could not leave her. That's when a passion was born. Tony decided that day he could no longer ignore the Evies of the world. He decided he would do something about their plight, and that's exactly what he did.

Seven years later he established a foundation and raised over $7 million toward building a permanent facility to serve as sort of a half-way house for other "Evies." During that time he also helped to place more that 1,100 of Evie's peers in permanent loving homes.

I think that's commendable and a testimony to what can happen when someone develops a passion for a cause. I also wonder what would happen if, as Christians, we became just a little more passionate about our cause.

I think our cause is a lot more significant than Tony's. You see, Evie was a cat. Tony's last name is Larussa, at the time the manager of the Oakland Athletics, and the show Evie interrupted was a Major League baseball game. His foundation, ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), is a good cause dedicated to saving the lives of potential pets, but it pales in comparison to the cause that lies before each of us.

May each of us be filled with a passion to become more compassionate about the souls of people!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward