by Rick Pidcock
As difficult as it may be, I’ve tried to keep the Denver Broncos off of my blog as much as possible. Quite honestly, I could write about them all the time. But I think it would be best to spare my readers the pain.
However, with the season coming to an end last night in such a ludicrous fashion, and with an impending tragedy that would take us all by surprise, I must say a few words. Even if you are not interested in the Broncos, I would like for you to read this article for reasons you will only find if you read it.
All we had to do yesterday in order to make the playoffs was to win against the lowly San Francisco 49ers at home. And of course, our offensive line chose not to block. Their lazy play sent Jay Cutler to the bench with a head injury. Then Jake Plummer came in and went 0 for 2 with an interception. Tatum Bell fumbled again. We blew the game. And I was irate.
But as I write this article, I find myself in shock once again. Only this time, my shock has nothing to do with the loss yesterday. Last night, our starting cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in downtown Denver.
Darrent was a second round draft pick last year who had immediately become a starter and a fan favorite. He was sure to play his entire career here in Denver and potentially one day make it into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame. His smile was infectious. His personality was one of the best in the Denver sports scene in a long time.
Every Tuesday, my favorite radio station, AM 950 The Fan, had an afternoon called “Darrent Williams Tuesday” where people would call in and say how they really felt. This was because D.W. always said how he felt. For example, when most players were vague about their feelings when the switch from Plummer to Cutler was made, D.W. said, “Jake was struggling. Now it’s time for the Jay Cutler era.”
Before I read the news this morning, I wanted to write an article about how frustrated I was over the pointlessness of the Broncos wasted season. However as I described the game in this article, my feelings were not feelings of frustrated passion, but rather of broken humility at the vanity of it all.
I am reminded of the words in Psalm 78:32,33–“In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe; So he made their days vanish like a breath and their years in terror.”
I do not know the condition of Darrent Williams’s soul. But a few things I do know, his days on this earth vanished like a breath. His life ended in terror. And now, wherever he may be, God is being glorified through his just dealings with Darrent in eternity and through his future just dealings with the killers.
According to a pastor in his hometown, Darrent had a tendency to hang around with the wrong crowd during his later high school years. So this pastor took a special interest in Darrent. And he says that sometime during college, Darrent turned his life around. At least during his short time here in Denver, Darrent was one of the most encouraging public figures around.
In moments such as these, we are reminded of the sinfulness of man, and that all sin ultimately leads to death. I am not saying that Darrent died because he was doing something to deserve being murdered. But it is clear that his death is something that is the fruit of sin being in the world and in the hearts of men. And as a result of such horrific sin, we are pointed to the holiness and love of God that demanded a penalty for our sin, but that provided the payment in the death of His Son, Jesus.
Therefore, no matter where we are at emotionally right now, our final response should not be anger, dumbfoundedness, depression, or just plain shrugging it off since we do not care for the Broncos. But ultimately, our final response should be a humble bowing before God in worship, confessing that we are a sinful people in need of a redemption that only God can give.
In regards to the killers, do not wonder if there will be justice. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Whether or not we catch the killers, they will be dealt with. Any justice that we could demand as humans pales in comparison to the justice that the killers will face when they see the God who created Darrent in His image. So rest assured, the killers can run around downtown Denver all they want. But one day, they will be brought to eternal justice before God.
Undoubtedly there will be non-Christians who find this article through a search engine. And if you are reading this, you may be struggling with my theological approach to something so horrendous. Please understand that this site is not primarily about the Broncos, but about how the glory of God is central to all of life, and yes, even death. It is a site about how we can respond to the glory of God in worship. This response of worship is often difficult, especially when it involves difficult situations like this. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me about this.
In closing, I offer up my prayers for the city of Denver, the Denver Broncos organization, and for the family and friends of Darrent Williams. May God be glorified in this situation, not only by dealing with the just end of Darrent’s shooters, but also by dealing in love with many others.
Update (Jan. 3; 11:30 p.m.): Earlier today, the Denver Police Department revealed that they are looking for a 1998 Chevy Tahoe that belonged to Brian Hicks, a convict currently in prison for attempted murder and drug charges. The license plate is 665-OBS.
Darrent’s mother Rosalind Williams also released the following statement:
“I would like to thank you all for the love and support that our family has received during this sad time. Dee lived his life to the fullest. To all the fans and friends that supported my son, I would like to take this moment to say, Thank You. I would also like to thank Pat Bowlen, Coach Shanahan, and everyone in the Broncos organization for your tremendous support.”
“I know from all of the public outpouring of sympathy, my son in his short time on this earth touched many lives. We rejoice in the knowledge that Dee is now with the Lord. He may be gone but he won’t be forgotten.”
Funeral services will be held this Saturday at the Great Commission Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, TX.
A fund has been set up to take care of the educational and health needs of Darrent’s two young children. Donations can be sent to the following address.
Darrent Williams Children’s Fund
c/o Denver Broncos
13655 Broncos Pkwy
Englewood, CO 80112
Update (Jan. 4; 8:00 a.m.) Early this morning the police found the vehicle that they have been looking for. It was on the side of the road at Himalaya and 40th , just two minutes from our house. The vehicle was spray painted black. Pray that they will be able to track down the killers from the evidence that they find in the Chevy.
*Both pictures courtesy of The Denver Post.
*To view a gallery of Darrent’s career, click here.
*To view a Tribute to Darrent Williams, click here.