The cars have lined the neighborhood streets, as teenagers flood out of the vehicles in school colors and painted faces. Many of the vehicles are still painted as well. Their windows marked with the motto that was introduced to our city on Friday night just a week before.
Pray For Walker.
Earlier in the day, hundreds drove to a funeral that shouldn’t happen. We’re not supposed to have funerals for teenagers. Yet as they drove, they passed by brightly lit red and blue billboards, the colors of Jackson Prep. They had a simple message written on them as well: the number 65, Walker’s number. It was a reminder to those driving by and to the whole community that they were not driving to a funeral. They were headed towards a celebration of a spectacular young life.
“I think your second post starts tonight.”
A youth minister’s words hit me as we walked past the cars together. I knew he was right. There was plenty more to write, and he knew exactly what those words needed to say.
“The healing starts now.” Read More…
Sorrow announces itself with rain.
It comes in suddenly, on what would have otherwise been a bright, sunny day. A gorgeous day, one that wasn’t as hot as anticipated, which was perfect for eating lunch outside and driving with the top down. A perfect day for students to laugh and joke with each other just like they would on any other school day.
That would change quickly, though, when the rain fell. And when it fell, it fell fiercely. It fell like the tears of the students at Jackson Prep that were about to fall. Students that were just about to learn that their friend and classmate, Walker Wilbanks, had passed away right about the time the rain came in. Read More…
There is a small sheet of paper that hangs on the wall above my bed. It’s positioned above the place where I often rest my head. It has a list of names. Mostly people, but there are a few locations on it. And the top of the paper simply says “PRAY” in capital letters. It’s my prayer list, and it constantly changes and will soon have to be replaced by an updated list, but that’s okay.
I’m not bragging about my spiritual maturity when I’m telling you this. The list exists because I don’t pray. The names on the list are people I care about, but also people I’ve wronged. There are names on the list of family members who I see frequently, but there are names on the list of people that live across the country that I owe a phone call. The phone call may or may not happen, but the names are on the list. There are names on the list of people that flat out hate my guts. And that’s cool too. They may never be able to forgive me for whatever reason they have for hating me, but their names are on the list.. Read More…
They took their seats in the coffee shop, which was largely empty. There were a few locals enjoying their customary morning brew and one or two students with earbuds and laptops going out into the world so they can block it out entirely and work. Other than the light acoustic strumming coming from the speakers up front, there wasn’t anything to disturb their conversation.
“So, what’s new with you? Been a while.” She was always going to be the one to start the conversation. Not that he didn’t talk, but because she was always looking for somebody or something to start a conversation with. She was bursting with enthusiasm for the world around her. Too protective of herself to be naive, she was still too appreciative to be anything but excited.
He had friendly eyes and a slender frame, but he carried himself like a very tired man. He wasn’t ugly, in fact he had a appealing, if different, attractiveness to him. He took a sip of his drink before answering.
“New? Not much, really. Kind of have the same routine as always, I guess.”
He shrugged. “Work. Trying to clean up the house. Hanging with the guys. You know, things sort of stay the same.”
She smiled, “No girls in your life?”
It wasn’t that he was trying to be rude, but he did laugh a little bit at her question. “No. You know me. I mean, my life is a mess. Don’t see the reason to bring somebody into that.”
It was a bright, lovely day in a world not all that ACTUALLY it’s a world that’s super drastically different than our own. Like, absurdly so. Where cat people shoot fireballs out of their hands and stuff. And the term “adventure” is thrown around wildly. And the common form of transportation happens to be jumping on the back of a giant bird.
NEW WORLD CUP EPISODE!
Joseph is again joined by Michael Preston and Keith Harkins for an episode of Running Out The Clock. This time around, they discuss the USA advancing, the work of Jurgen Klinsmann, the upcoming match against Belgium, and poor Jordan Ayew getting pantsed on television, which is something Michael Preston thinks will work out well for Ayew.
Oh my! That match between the USA and Portugal was SO GOOD that Running Out The Clock had to record an emergency episode immediately following the game!
Besides our reaction to the game, we discuss Michael Bradley, the upcoming match against Germany, and the American Outlaws.
As always, subscribe to ROTC by following this link.
Many thanks to Keith Harkins (@kpharkins) and Michael Preston (@the_hairy_hotty but please never follow him ever oh please) for joining on this episode!