People all over the country had different interpretations for the phenomenon that was sparked when National Football League star Tim Tebow gave an outward expression of his faith at a jam-packed NFL game.
His mother, Pam Tebow, saw the faith gesture as an answer to prayer as she watched her son kneel and pray on the football field sidelines.
“It was one of those proud moments,” Pam Tebow said, speaking in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
“Suddenly our last name had become a verb — ‘Tebowing.' We knew then that God had answered our prayers — that He had given us a preacher.”
Tebow spoke about her famous athletic son to about 350 people who attended the 2012 Angels of Destiny Luncheon hosted by Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services on Thursday at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.
She said she and her evangelist husband, Bob, were missionaries in the Philippines when she became ill with amoebic dysentery, a disease often caused by contaminated food or drink. Pam Tebow said a doctor recommended that she abort her child after she had taken medication for the life-threatening illness.
Tebow said instead of aborting what she was told was a “mass of fetal tissue,” she and her spouse prayed that the Lord would save their child's life and that he would live as a minister for God.
Tim Tebow was born in 1987, a little malnourished but otherwise healthy, Pam Tebow said.
Tebow said her “miracle baby” who she called “Timmy” throughout her presentation, now has a national platform where he can share his Christian faith with many people.
He was a star collegiate athlete with the University of Florida and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He became known for sharing his faith after he began playing football games with biblical Scriptures, such as John 3:16, written on his eye black. Pam Tebow drew good-natured laughter from the luncheon audience when she shared the fact that her son had a Bible verse on his eye black during the University of Florida's victory over the University of Oklahoma Sooners at the 2009 BCS National Championship Game.
The cultural trend of “Tebowing,” the act of kneeling and bowing one's head in prayer, became a national phenomenon in 2011 when Tim Tebow, then playing for the Denver Broncos, knelt and bowed his head in prayer on the sidelines at the Broncos' game against the Miami Dolphins. Tim Tebow is now a member of the New York Jets.
Thursday, Pam Tebow said his story is a “God story” and the children who are connected with loving families through Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services all have their own such stories and possibilities.
She urged luncheon attendees to continue supporting the faith-based agency because “saving babies, putting them with families is a ‘good work.'”
“This is a ministry of kindness. This is a ministry of mercy. This ministry is for the cause of Christ,” she said.
Dierdre McCool, executive director of the Oklahoma City agency, said the organization bases its efforts to aid children on the belief that “every life is a possibility.”
“The Creator of the universe has written the life story of every person who has ever lived,” she said. “Can you feel the joy that He feels when He sees the children who walk through our doors lead the lives that they live?”