Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's Your Story?

Friday night's football game with a low ranking team ended with our team running out the clock. Second down, third down--they took their knees watching the clock tick--tick--tick. The team we played had only scored seven points the whole season, but against us they had managed 24 points and one more possession of the ball might have gained them a victory.

As the score board clock ticked on and it was clear they'd not get another possession, one of their team members broke from the ranks on the sideline and strode toward our team. Flailing his arms, yelling and strutting as he got closer and closer to our team. No technical was called since the ball wasn't in play and the game was nearly over with 25 seconds left. But a frenzy grew around the young man as he got face to face with his opponents, coaches flanked him, teammates held him back and pulled him back to the sidelines.

The clock read zero seconds left in the game. Final score: home team: 27, opponent: 24.

A cheer went up on our side of the stands.

But my eye was on that young man on the opposing team. His coach had his arm around him, his head close to his helmet. Arms still flailing, it was clear from a distance that words were still flowing freely. His teammates hung in a pack ready for the after game coach's run down. But just as the young player had separated from the pack to risk a foul, he still stood separated with his coach.

Then I saw it. 

The boy walking away from his team along the sideline with long strides, walking it off. Was he alone? Where was he going? Didn't anyone notice? Five yards, ten, twenty, thirty yards from his team mates.

Then it happened. He turned and took a knee--but he wasn't alone. His coach had matched his stride so closely. Had his arm around his shoulder, had leaned into his shoulder so near, that the two had appeared one as they walked it off together. The coach knelt with him. They appeared to pray. Then he rose, strode further from his team toward our team and shook hands with every one of our coaches.

Used by permission from Paul Kern, thanks Paul!

Whatever that boy's story was--his coach knew it.
Whatever his story was, it was enough to want to win that much--enough to leave his man pack on the sidelines.
Whatever his story was--he'd been pushed to care so much that it broke inside.
It made me want to know his story.

Everyone's got story.

There's a great line in the movie Australia when Drover (Hugh Jackman) is talking to his brother-in-law Magarri. He's droving cattle, believing that Nullah is safely on walk about. He's had a bit of a spat with Lady Ashley (Nicole Kidman) about maintaining his freedom. Denying his love for her he's left to drove again. But his once carefree life of being his own man answering to no one is empty. Magarri begins to whistle a tune that reminds Drover of the drive he'd completed with Lady Ashley--the time he had fallen in love with her. Drover tells Magarri not to sing that tune as he attempts to deny his love and forget. But Magarri confronts him that he's running from the truth and asks if he's even told Lady Ashley that he loves her. Magarri tells Drover he's never said it because he's too afraid to get his heart hurt again like before, but that if he doesn't face the truth--then he's got no love.

Magarri says: "If you've got no love in your heart, you've got nothing...No dreaming, no story....nothing."

He says it as if story, dreaming, and love cannot be separated.

Sounds a lot like faith, hope, and love.

And we know the greatest of these is love.

What stories, lines, movies, or books have touched you?

How have they made you want to dream? To risk?

To hope?

To love?

**Keep commenting this week for a chance to win my free basket of books**


  1. I love the story of the coach and player on the side line. It made me tear up. For real. Now I want to know the whole story. :)

    1. Aw thanks Jessica! Me too, if I ever find out, I'll let you know. This young man was on the opposing team, so we may never know. But isn't that the point? So often we don't know other people's stories and what drives them to do and be who they are. We see only the tip of the iceberg. But God knows the whole story. As writers and readers, I love to try to see the larger story at work.

  2. “He is not a tame lion." From the Chronicles of Narnia. I think of that line a lot when I'm thinking of God. We don't serve a tame, small god who we can fit into a neat box. We serve a big, powerful, almighty God whose ways are bigger than we can ever imagine.

    1. Precisely Julie! Nor would I be tempted to serve a tame lion. Our God is loves us--fiercely!
      This young player has a fierce passion...perhaps to move mountains?

  3. I love this often the real stories are off to the side of the main action. The one young player off by himself, processing with his Coach. So many spiritual parallels right there!

    1. Exactly Pattie. If we look and listen harder, God whispers to us through our daily experiences. This has touched me all week. I wish the young man knew that!

  4. I echo Julie. Love that quote. What a moment. But, of course, you have to have eyes that see these...

    You did.

    Good job!


  5. Rhonda! Great to see you here on our new blog. Launching takes a lot of energy right, but sure is fun. :o)

  6. I was struck by this at the recent ACFW Conference. Not only did every writer there have a novel or some form of fiction story they were pitching, but each writer there had their own story, their faith journey, their life path, their way through the woods. Humbling.

    1. --so true Erica, and we all need coaches, mentors, and people to walk along beside us in our moments! :o)

  7. What an amazing thing you were blessed to witness. Truly heartwarming to know there are kids and mentors out there like that. :)

  8. Right Raquel. We never know what a critical role we might play as a mentor. It inspires me to really listen to God's prompting and His still small voice!


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