We’ve had some wonder-filled days as our time in Wyoming comes to an end. One special highlight: a football game in Laramie to watch the Pokes play the Falcons! Perfect seats, perfect weather, and a perfect game kept us smiling for days.
Of particular note was a chance encounter with the Buffalo Bills’ star quarterback’s parents. (Josh Allen played at UW and his Dad was singing the National Anthem before this particular game. Who could have known this?!?) I snapped pictures while Chris exchanged hearty handshakes and spoke words of encouragement to them. If you know Chris, you’ll understand his over-the-top enthusiasm to have this God-opportunity.
We both love football but I’ve never met anyone more knowledgeable or caring about the game or its players than Chris. If pro team chaplaincy was a spiritual gift, Chris has been equipped with abundance. Chris was a Buffalo Bills walk-on since the time he could throw his first 20-yard pass at the age of probably two. He recounts memories of game days with his Dad with longing. The pain of losing his Dad as a young man has not dampened the goodness or the enjoyment of those memories.
Me? I’m more of a college fan with a SEC bent because my blood does run orange especially when there are more “W’s” than “L’s” in the ledger. I share the same memories of game days with my Dad. We had a habitual practice to call each other after every Tennessee touchdown. And I do mean every. When time passed and we couldn’t attend games in person, we hardly ever missed an opportunity to immediately exclaim, “How ‘bout them Vols!” Or “Touchdown, Tennessee!” before we had even answered the phone with “Hello.” Not much else was said afterward, not much was required, until the next touchdown. Some years the calls were plentiful, others not so much. Seasons come and seasons go.
Life brings loss, seasons change, and heartbreaking events sideline us. We both are thankful, however, that God picks us up, splints our feeble limbs, and sends us back out on the field to keep playing. We choose to stay in the game and on the field.
As this new football season begins, with God’s encouragement and help, Chris and I are continuing to welcome our new season together as we are glued to the tv or occasionally in person for every game, pro or college, cheering for our favorites, analyzing the play-calling and officiating, and celebrating this day because we have chosen to stay in the game and on the field together.
Let’s go Buffalo! Go Big Orange! God, you are the Captain of our salvation (Heb 2:10). We cheer loudest and most for You!
Praying for you and your families from the road — again. Next stop: Seattle!
-Susan (of the Wildflowers)