Dear Lance Armstrong,

Dear Lance,
I don’t know if this will reach you, but I hope it will somehow. I wanted to let you know I’ve been praying for you lately; not anything elaborate or wordy, mainly just Lord, help Lance. I’m sure I don’t know the half of what you’re going through. Was it disappointing to hear all the revelations? Sure. I remember well the final stages of those tours…you flew like Icarus…man, it was something to behold. Are those memories tainted now? I guess, although its hard to say that with certainty…they were magic.
 
I’m writing to say I believe in you. I realize many do not right now and may not ever again. But I believe that anyone and any story can be redeemed, and that includes you and yours. In a religious word what I’m talking about is grace. That word gets bandied about or butchered and usually both, but here’s the deal: regardless of all that’s happened, and you’ve screwed some folks over pretty hard and maybe most of all yourself, God loves you. But as my friend Brennan Manning would attest – God even likes you. I point that out as that may be the more unbelievable thing because chances are quite good that you don’t like yourself very much these days. Have you got a long road ahead that makes the Tour look like a circus-pony ride? Yes. Do you have amends to make? I think so and I think you do too. But I believe you can do it because I believe God believes you can do it, and that’s saying something, Lance. God likes you.
 
I don’t know if you know about the season of Lent. Its basically the days after Fat Tuesday that lead up to Easter, days to contemplate the grace that keeps this world from going completely nutters. The faithful routinely give up things for Lent, maybe the internet or coffee or watching Housewives of Beverly Hills, stuff like that. I hold all that loosely, and hadn’t really decided to give up anything this year. But I was impressed today to put on something instead of give up something – I’m purchasing a LIVESTRONG bracelet and I’m going to wear it until Easter and maybe beyond. Am I wearing it for those precious people suffering with cancer? You bet. But you wanna know something, Lance? I’m also wearing it for you, as a symbol that I believe grace exists in this rank world and although we need it every day of our lives by god we need it most of all when we think we’re too far gone to ever really come back. I’m wearing it because I believe you can make a comeback, that we all can, and that there’s a day out there in the future waiting, possibly even sooner than you think, when the sun will shine on your face once again and not because you’re on a podium near the Champs-Elysees but because you’re alive and walking on the face of this earth as living proof that anyone and any story can be redeemed.
 
You’ve inspired many to reach deep and find something in themselves to keep going against the odds. Just know there are one or two scattered here and there who are praying for you to keep at it, odds and public opinion certainly be damned. You’re in the first stages of learning the deepest reality of the logo. But you can do it.
 
Grace exists, Lance. Live strong.
John 
 
livestrong-bracelet
 

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64 Comments

  1. nwhannas on February 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you, PB.

  2. scriptordeus on February 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Public shame, as Lance is experiencing, is no less in need of extended grace than our own private failures. I hope he gets a chance to read this, but I am really praying he experiences such grace.

  3. julie on February 24, 2013 at 12:26 am

    this is beautiful. love this. thank you.

  4. lindsay on February 24, 2013 at 1:36 am

    John, this speaks volumes. So many that need to hear of grace. More so those in the public eye.

  5. Teresa on February 24, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Best blog I have read this week…..I shared it on my FB page….grace is for us all…going to direct my blog buddies to the letter…

  6. patriciaspreng on February 24, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Amen.
    From your mouth to God’s ears… to Lance’s eyes and heart.

  7. Kath on February 24, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Grace for such a time as this. Hope Lance gets this message. Thanks for writing it.

  8. tim on February 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    JD- amen! ….grace….always grace

  9. Nathan on February 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    My soul shouts…YES! Inside the world’s culture, racing for the illusive golden carrot, who can see perfectly their own way? No not a one. Grace for Lance, grace for me, grace for we. I pray that he can read and hear and see this grace of his smiling Papa!

    • thebeautifuldue on February 26, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Thanks for taking the time to write, Nathan.

  10. Tina Francis (@teenbug) on February 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Love this, John.

    Thanks for the timely reminder that we are all broken. Every last one of us.

    Love the idea of continuing to wear a LiveStrong bracelet.

  11. -Jim G on February 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

    When I was diagnosed with leukemia, a number of family members and friends independently purchased copies of ‘It Is Not About the Bike ‘ for me. Reading the book was comforting to me. Thank you for that Lance! I re-gifted the copies of the book to others in need.

    • thebeautifuldue on February 26, 2013 at 2:27 am

      Hi, Jim…thanks for writing. You’re right, its about much more than the bike.

  12. Curt Oishi on February 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Thanks John! Live Strong Lance!
    Aloha,
    Curt

  13. thehillortruth on February 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

    One persons opinion. He has a right to it, just like everyone else. I personally have to question though the thoughts of a person who clearly has no base in reality. God? Really? This is the 21st century thank you. We don’t live in caves anymore. Sun gods and lightening gods diminish with time just as all Gods do. So pray or ask God why and how, the answer will always be the same every single time. Silence.

    • thebeautifuldue on February 26, 2013 at 2:31 am

      thehillortruth, you took the time to write and I respect that, as I do your opinion.

    • dmj575s on February 26, 2013 at 4:31 am

      God a reality? How can you say he is not real? He may be silent to you my friend because you do not have a relationship with him. What do you think it means to live in the 21st century anyway? Do you think that we are any better than the people 2000 years ago? Sure our world has changed, but people have really not changed that much.

    • Polivian (pol) on February 26, 2013 at 5:19 am

      So you think that your meek little existence here is attributed to some force of nature that you had some control over. This is more delusional than your view of religion. Say a prayer every night for a week for something troubling in your life. If you see nothing from it, please reply and I will openly apologize.

    • Clint Hightower on February 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I totally agree. AND there are a lot of really good hard working people who deserve some help that our energies would be better spend on that Lance Armstrong. Lance is a rich, lying opportunist, and anyone “believing” in him is and idiot and a sucker as you will see when he uses all this attention to come out with a book or something because he’s too old to ride anymore.

  14. Lux on February 26, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Oh man! I looooooved this! I was just telling a friend the other day how regardless of what Lance did or did not do, I still saw him as a one of my heroes, my personal inspiration. Thanks for putting into words what some of us have felt or thought but couldn’t express as good as you did. That was seriously awesome!

  15. andra faye on February 26, 2013 at 2:57 am

    thanks for posting this. loved following lance through the tours…hope to see more of his determination and grit in the years to come.

    • thebeautifuldue on February 26, 2013 at 3:08 am

      Thanks, Andra…yes, I hope to see more too.

  16. bikefixer on February 26, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Having been in a “Pro Lance ” environment since the first tour,I have taken quite a few shots below the belt because we all hoped that Lance could weather the storm that has been coming at him for a while now.I honestly think that the loudest critics are the ones that took Lance and made him their “GOD” or “Ultra Hero” and when they found out that he was just a human with the same problems and weaknesses as the rest of us,they felt Fooled or embarrassed to have turned him into an Idol. They Will also be forgiven for the mean and angry things that some of them are saying about another human in trouble.I’ve shaken the hand and given a hug,and talked to Lance without the crowds and my feel is that his intentions were not to hurt anyone .I have skeletons and if those that are condemming Lance are without wrongdoing then their right to say whatever they feel is justified. I hope for them to heal as I hope for Lance to heal. How would YOU feel if it was your brother in this situation ?? Well it IS! Pray for Lance and any other person that has been hurt by this terrible set of circumstances (Yes, cheating and doping)

  17. Polivian (pol) on February 26, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Lance,
    Nothing here can be said that you have not heard before, but if some miracle happens and you read any of what the people believe in you say hear this. You have done something that no other human being can say they have done. You have beat the odds makers in cycling and with cancer. You are and always will be one of the greatest athletic heroes the world has seen to date.
    Whether you were the conspiracy king pin or a corporate sponsored pigeon that was directed to win at any cost. So many people want to believe in you because of what you believed in and what you achieved when you recovered from a mortal illness.

    Your strength and athletic ability has been awe inspiring. It is your morals and your character that has crushed the part in so many that wanted to believe that a hero does exist. Did the public elevate you too high. Is there such a thing? Your actions to defend a lie are so unconscionable that it is hard to make an argument in your defense.

    As an athlete, your are and always will be a legend. As a man, you are the definition of shame.

    I write this as a not only a cyclist, but also as a father looking for someone to tell my children to look up to as a model of achievement. What do I tell them about you Lance? Please tell me because I would really like to hear it from you. I live in Austin and welcome the opportunity to hear your words.

  18. Shelley Comberbach on February 26, 2013 at 6:03 am

    you can remove the titles and trophies from Lance Armstrong BUT you can never take away from him the fact that he beat advanced cancer and has been an inspirtaion to many other cancer sufferers in this world. Yes, he cheated the Tour de France but he has also cheated cancer!! LIVESTRONG….LIVELONG…Lance Armstrong…..

    • mnk on February 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Excellent comment Shelley. Love your POV. We all make mistakes but this one was not just a mistake, it was for good purpose. Long Live Lance

  19. roxanne wickward on February 26, 2013 at 6:29 am

    God’s grace is greater than ours. His grace is the only one that matters. He uses us better through our brokenness. When self is gone, he can fill us. I hope the only post Lance would read would be the first one. The words sound more like what I would want my Savior to say.

  20. Anne Shanmugam on February 26, 2013 at 6:49 am

    This is so encouraging to all of us. Really touched my heart. This is deep stuff.

  21. patrick on February 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Fuck him

    • Debby on February 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Go and make your nasty comments elsewhere!

    • Galen Smith on February 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Your comment suggests that you understand little of this amazing grace of which the article speaks. You need this grace as much as Lance or anyone else. May you find it.

  22. George W. on February 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    As a long-time Lance fan, struggling with the disappointment of the recent revelations, and as a Christian, this was an awesome article to read (it gave me goose-bumps!). Thank you for the great reminder of how much we all need grace.

  23. bikerred on February 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Well said! Lance will rise again!

    • James on February 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Really? He has to find the strength to truly own up to everything he has done first, and there seems to be only one true faith that he has right now and that is in his lawyers. Maybe if he had had religion he wouldn’t have done all this? I doubt it though, he seems driven by a higher and more tangible belief.

  24. Cynthia on February 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Profound and amazing! God’s grace is truly amazing. Thank you for your blog…Live Strong.

  25. joey on February 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Believe! I do – still wearing my bracelet – it’s more than the bike.

  26. Amanda Dodson on February 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    There are several issues going on here. I forgive him and hope he can change his life around. At this point would I trust him, probably not. I believe there are still truths not told. On the same note life is a journey of learning for everyone even Lance. I hope his journey leads him to a place of peace and contentment.

  27. Lee on February 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    BELIEVE —- and always LIVESTRONG!

  28. max on February 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    His first chance to repent and come clean came many years ago. He needs to personally apologize to those he trashed. He needs to do it publicly because he trashed them publicly. This is about money not cancer. He wanted fame and FORTUNE he needs to give all the money back. I have no sympathy for him. He’s a con man, nothing more and nothing less.

  29. max on February 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Additionaly,
    Lance only came clean when he lost his chance to make $$$. Make no mistake, he acted criminally.

  30. Drew Hogg on February 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    A great post John. Everything I have been thinking and believe. I have 4 immediate members of my family who are cancer survivors and who all believe in Lance. I dont understand the public….when movie stars, athletes and musicians live immoral and corrupt lives right out in view of everyone each day. With public drunkeness, theft, domestic abuse and so on….people forgive them each time and continue to pay money to see them at the movies, on the court or sing at a concert. Lance was there for so many with his time, effort and support when others needed so very badly. Where are we for him when he needs our support after many sold him out for their few pieces of silver. Thank you John for reminding me of redemtion for Lance and also opening my eyes to my own story and my own redemtion!

    God Bless
    Drew from Canada

  31. Sean Young on February 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Whenever I pray for Lance, I pray for the multitude he has helped and for those whom he has hurt deeply as he lied and lashed out in his misguided defense. Lance went to far, but the pathway back is through grace. I believe as much as anyone that he can be a hero again.

  32. ks031290 on February 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I still believe in him despite everything. He still put in the work everyday and inspires me to do the same. x

  33. William Auten (@william_auten) on February 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    This inspired me today.

  34. SonjaP on February 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for reminding us all that not only does Lance need grace, but we all do. Thank you for that.

  35. parvin on February 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Totally awesome…there are people who still believe in you Armstrong. What a beautiful blog…inspired me.

  36. Manuel Bürgi on February 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Absolutely inspiring! Very great!!!

  37. Gels Lamattina on February 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    totally agree…could not have said it better myself….Lance was and will always be MY hero…

  38. Janelle on February 26, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you. What beautiful and inspiring words. When you hear the word CANCER, you look for any hope that is out there. Lance gave me that. Even just for a short time, there was some hope & I thank him for that.

  39. Jean on February 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I am really glad you wrote this. I hope Lance does see this and finds grace and love to see him thru this time. I still wear my yellow bracelet in support of his work with cancer survivors.

  40. Tina fahnestock on February 27, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Thank you for reminding us we all deserve grace.
    With a humble heart,
    Tina Fahnestock

  41. jamesleek1996 on February 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Reblogged this on jamesleek1996 and commented:
    VERY TRUE

  42. Laurie on March 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Wow! Amazingly powerful!

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