In 1977, Jerry Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit organization based in State College, PA, to assist at-risk children.
Its youth programs have been honored by the President of the United States, and serve as many as 100,000 children annually in Pennsylvania.
Corporate benefactors have included Bank of America, the Hershey Company, State Farm, U.S. Steel Corp, and PepsiCo.
In November 2011, Sandusky was arrested for charges of child sexual abuse.
Days later, longtime president of The Second Mile, Jack Raykovitz, announced his resignation.
In June 2012, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 counts against him.
All the victims met Sandusky through The Second Mile.
Interim CEO David Woodle announced The Second Mile will transfer its programs to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, based in Houston, TX.
The Second Mile will cease to exist.
The college football program that employed Sandusky is now subject to severe NCAA sanctions in the wake of findings that a number of Penn State University officials concealed sex abuse claims against assistant coach Sandusky.
Today, Penn State President Rod Erickson ordered the removal of the 900-pound statue of Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I football history. Picture noted herein.
Erickson remarked that the statue “has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing.”
Now another part to the story:
The Second Mile name is a Biblical reference.
Consider part of Jesus’ message at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 38 – 41):
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
The historical context for the mile reference:
During the Roman Empire, soldiers could force bystanders to carry the burden of their equipment (generally for a set distance). Simon of Cyrene, for example, was forced to carry Jesus’ cross.
According to author Walter Wink, Jesus was promoting another case of non-violence resistance at the sermon on the Mount. By offering to keep the burden for another mile, the choice of action (albeit a burdensome one) was thrown back ironically at the soldier.
A case could also be made that God exposes us to the wrongdoings of others (and ourselves) for as long as it takes for us to respond as Christians.
Our Call to Action: Go The Second Mile
The general term “go the extra mile” is now a common part of our secular vocabulary, but going the second mile has a biblical basis.
The Second Mile non-profit organization will forever be tarnished by the evil actions of its Founder Jerry Sandusky.
However, the positive impact of countless Second Mile workers and volunteers for 35 years cannot be dismissed.
Let the term “Go the second mile” be restored to our vocabulary.
In light of the tragic situation in Pennsylvania, let The Second Mile serve as a reminder to us all that unspeakable crimes are still going on all around us.
When you walk that second mile, carry the burden of others for another step so that your spirit is called to action by the Holy Spirit.
Bring the light of truth and grace to someone else.
Get others involved immediately if necessary.
We are called to do so.
How do your view the burden (or the opportunity) of the second mile in your life?
Stay connected and inspired!
Sign up now for future Full-Time Christianity blog posts and to receive a free personalized “Love Is” Bible verse via email.
You can unsubscribe at any time and your email address will never be shared.