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Pastor Mark Thompson of Faribault, Minnesota, suffered terrible knife wounds from an assailant in his home, in October 1988. One of the many consequences of his difficult recovery was being forced to miss watching his son Chris run in the state cross-country championship meet. Pastor Thompson commissioned his brother Merv to go in his stead.

According to the account in the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, Mark told his brother, "I can’t be there to see Chris run. So I want you there at the beginning of the race. Holler a lot. ... Then at the end, I want you to really cheer loudly. And I want you to make your voice sound like mine."

Merv heeded the advice, and Chris ran a strong race, finishing second. Merv, also a pastor, discerned the theological truth in the story. "That’s what Jesus wants us to do." he said. "Make your voice sound like mine."

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