Being a Different Color

There are two things I admire in sports amidst a lot I disagree with.  One is when both teams pray together and the other when a loser seeks out the opposing team to congratulate them.  Such respect truthfully transcends battle lines drawn so many view as the prize in competitive confrontation. The inability to celebrate two sides and respect dual efforts is a waste.  The instantaneous dismissal of a previous revered player or a change of venue is absurd.

I had received the phone call and letter from TCU to participate in their parade and was honored but a little hesitant only because October had been such a busy and heavily scheduled month.  After weighing the opportunity I committed with a hope we could assemble a healthy participation to represent our group and the community.  TCU had the highest praise in their invitation.  They had said no group was better suited for the parade than a home grown, large community service and child-centered youth ministry.  They considered us leaders and purveyors of consistency and good will with an unparalleled growth and tenure.  It was music to my ears and my mind raced through the thousands to thank for our journey.

As usual, the kids were excited to serve and celebrated and I felt guilty for any previous hesitation – really not even possessing the right to deprive them or say no on their behalf.  They were entitled by the mere definition and tenacity of being a Thursday child.

The real surprises, in hindsight, were some of the comments from parents who expressed they wouldn’t participate because it wasn’t their university or they didn’t care for TCU.  In my usual form I quickly discussed my philosophy and opinion on the subject.  TCU is our hometown university and a vital part of our community.  Thousands of our friends are alumni and command our respect and support, taking nothing away from our alma maters. How it is special to support others and celebrate their successes and efforts:  The joy of being able to extend our goodwill to a neighbor shaping and improving our community and the ability to focus on someone other than ourselves and become part of the rainbow that streams into purple.

What a privilege it is to be included and reciprocate the courage to invite outsiders to share in a celebration.  What a lifelong message we send our children to recognize and validate others despite our loyalties.  The lesson transcends race, religion, culture, economic, as well as our special interests, and the discipline to recognize importance and value in everything and everyone.  Sharing the spotlight to a day in the sun certainly helps us appreciate and live the day celebrating “Being a Different Color.”

YFTC & ITSOO,
Mr. Redwine

Provide the Stretch

At least three or four times a week I’m asked by members and nonmembers of KWD how I can possibly make and take the time to do it.  How so many can be included and prioritized like family.  The real question remains how can I not.  The privilege is truly no secret and the thousands of minuscule joys swell to the experience of a lifetime.

Mustard on the lip and nose of a child excited by the inclusion.  The celebration of a  “hole in whatever” and the ensuing dance of the victor.  A target untouched except a shot through the bull’s-eye.  The light off the water sparkling in the eye of a young kayaker inviting a skill.

The contagious laughter of each child fulfilling a small dream and vacant space in his or her life.  The domino effect of a single pen strike and the jump in the air of celebration.  The confidence of a stroke of the tennis and racquet balls building character.

A walk, breading a duck or reading an adventure in a book.  A chore completed and the ensuing pride from a job well done.  An animal or ghost game provoking thought and hilarity.

After work could be tiring if it wasn’t so invigorating.  It’s the kids who are amazing and teach me to love and celebrate.  It’s the reach that continues to “Provide the Stretch.”

YFTC & ITSOO,
Mr. Redwine