Jud Heald Shares the Good News
By Tim Smith
The 700 Club
If it has wheels or moves fast, chances are Jud Heald has taken it for a ride.
“I had 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers and snowmobiles, and go-carts,” says Jud. “When I was 10, I had a Subaru Brat. I skated every single day. There’s definitely years that I didn’t miss a single day of skateboarding.”
During the day, Jud was always on the go, but at night he was always smoking pot.
“Skateboarding kind of kept me out of it during the day, but once I fulfilled the quota, and I knew that I’d skated enough, put enough time in, and that’s just where I ended up. I went across the road, hung out, and smoked.”
Jud skated through high school and got really good at it. He was on the verge of going pro when he went out for a day of snowboarding.
“It wasn’t a good lip. It just kind of threw you weird, and as I spun off, I dropped my shoulder weird and the next thing I knew, I was upside down. I cleared the whole landing. I landed in the flat of the halfpipe. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a groomed mountain, but it ain’t soft. And I laid there for a bit and I moved my legs. Ok, I didn’t break my neck or anything. I’m good. On TV, you know, if you break your neck, you’re dead. Right?
But Jud had broken his neck. He fell 16 feet, and landed on his head. Doctors fused two vertebrae together, and stabilized his neck with a metal halo.
“So they bolted that thing in my head and tightened it every couple of weeks. It was pretty narly.”
Jud had one question for the doctor:
“‘Will I skate again?’ He’s like, ‘No.’ ‘I know not right now, but will I ever be able to skate again?’ He’s like, ‘Look. Things are going to be slow the next couple of months. I don’t know.’ At that point, it was just like someone had told me my Mom had died. I cried the whole way home.”
After several months in the halo, Jud’s neck wasn’t healing. It was actually getting worse. Jud never thought he really needed Jesus until then. In his desperation, he prayed.
“I just appealed to the Lord, and I knew through my Mom, seeing my Mom pray, in petition in prayer, seeking the Lord, that God did answer prayer and so I knew that and saw that in her life, and I’d seen the Lord answer prayers before. ‘Lord, I want to be right again and I know that You can do that, and will You heal me, and make me right, so that I can be able to skateboard again.’ And so I just put it all in His hands. ‘Lord, if You want this to happen, You got to make it happen’.”
Jud recovered in a matter of weeks. Witnessing his own amazing healing made him think a lot about his lifestyle. As a child, he had prayed to become a Christian.
“I knew right from wrong. I knew I had sin in my life because I was screwing around with drugs and stuff like that. And really, through seeing the Lord heal my neck and move in that situation, it’s brought my whole life in a whole different perspective. It’s not one bit about what am I going to do in this world, it’s what am I going to do that the Lord has called me to do today?
Soon Jud was living his life for God and skating again. He turned pro in 1998. A few years later, he formed his own Christian skateboard team called “Untitled”.
“What we’re trying to do with Untitled is just to be there, consistently, so they can look into the skate culture and see, Man, there are guys who are standing up for the Lord. And my grandma’s saying this, or my mom’s saying this, or maybe it’s your dad or whoever it is that’s in their life saying they need the Lord, but if they don’t see that in their culture, they’re going the way of the culture. No matter where a kid is at in the skate culture, he can find believers who are standing up, representing Christ, and have a walk to go with it. So they can say, ‘You know what, these dudes walk the walk. They’re not posers. And they live out what they’re saying.'"
“It’s good news! Are we scared of sharing good news? Hey, I just won a million dollars! – hey (covering his mouth), I don’t want to tell anybody that I got… Really?! Share good news. If it’s good to you, if it’s good to me, it’s good to them."
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