After obsessing over the evening and morning news about the horrors in Florida, I pretty much had an anxiety attack dropping my daughters off at school the morning after another school shooting. I was tempted to drive around the block, sign them out of school, and make them play catch with me the rest of the day. It made me sick to my stomach thinking about the parents in Florida.
I was a youth minister for 15 years. I had the privilege of working, serving, and sharing life with amazing students in Texas and in Kansas City. One of my favorite things about social media is that it enables me to keep in touch with these amazing now-adults and the things they are doing all over the country.
Curtis is the youth minister at my church and on the leadership team. He’s also in my small group and a good friend. I asked him to meet me at church to toss the ball early this afternoon. I beat him to the building, the old Stained Glass Theater just south of C-Street, and warmed up tossing a ball against the painted brick wall. (I have another church-wall-baseball-tossing story, but that’s for another time.) Curtis is not a “thoughts and prayers” kind of Christian, but the kind who believes faith is supposed to make a difference to your neighbor, no matter where your neighbor lives.
We tossed the ball and talked and it was soul therapy. And as we tossed the ball, some verses of Scripture came to mind:
Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
— Romans 12.9-15
So I shared with the families in need in Florida, not out of guilt, but because love is stronger still. https://www.gofundme.com/stonemandouglasvictimsfund.
I wore my KC Monarchs t-shirt today on purpose. (Finally, a game of catch in a t-shirt! It won’t be that way tomorrow!) Last night, I finished my annual reading of Joe Posnanski’s The Soul of Baseball, the best baseball book I’ve ever read. I wore my t-shirt to remember Buck’s words of wisdom:
Don’t let hate fill your heart.
Always more good people
In this world.
The world is getting better all the time.