By Pastor Mary Jo Yeakel
Ada First United Methodist Church
the past two years my personal adventure skill of learning has been to
explore the possibility of enjoying football. I knew football happened. I
saw my dad highly invested – he always rooted for the underdog. Yet the
only question I could intelligently ask was “who’s winning?”
started. I got myself a personal coach — or what should be called a
good friend who loved football and had a lot of knowledge. She also
spoke in ways that I could understand. She had also learned to love
football. I’ve noticed that when someone is raised in football, they
have a hard time explaining to a novice! Next I picked one team. Hum,
whom should I pick? At that time in history the Ohio State football team
hit a huge crisis. Big enough that even if you didn’t follow football
you heard about it. The picture of J. T. Barrett on the field with
competitor Devin Gardner, still causes me to pause. The compassion
poured of the screen and into my heart.
The next thing were
incredible moments for Cardale Jones, let me emphasis this, third-string
Cardale Jones. He poured his heart and joy into being the quarterback
with the team. I would giggle as I watched his face through the next
series of games. No one could believe how things unfolded. It was
I tell you all this because I want to show you the Yes of
God that I see everyday. It is my calling in life to see God’s yeses.
Even in football. Here are some of the ways it’s true in my life.
finally had a topic to talk about with folk in my life where talking
was difficult. OK, sometimes we never got beyond that topic, but
sometimes we did and my heart was strangely warmed.
cousins, yet have not been close to them at all! Attending a family
funeral in Wisconsin brought us together. Again, the topic of football
was the “thin edge of the wedge” for our conversations. I confess to
you, I’d spoken only politely to the husbands but football literally
launched us well beyond that. One thing let to another and I found
myself learning and loving in new ways.
And then this happened.
Through the bond of football I found myself texting my cousin just the
other day. I offered prayer for the college of my cousin’s heart. Like
so many other colleges and universities, tragedy had struck – and
because of all the fun conversations, I had a relationship that blessed
such reaching out.
By Anne Coburn-Griffis