Friday, October 10, 2008
Ariel, our second oldest, loves to play lacrosse. She played throughout her college years, and throughout junior high and high school also. But it almost didn’t happen for her in high school. We lived in a small town in Delaware, where there had never been a lacrosse team before. She played other sports her freshman year, but asked again and again if they couldn’t have a team. Finally, the school board approved a lacrosse team – but only a boys team. She didn’t give up though, and the boys, who she supported throughout the asking process, invited her to play with them. The principal said it was fine. One day, before their first season started, with practice well underway, I got a call from the team captain’s mother. She was upset and I thought maybe the boys had decided it was too awkward to have a girl on their team. Instead, she surprised me by telling me that Ariel would have to wear a cup to be official, and that the team could be disqualified if she wasn’t wearing one. Her son was too uncomfortable with this discussion to mention it to Ariel. When I got done laughing I asked her where I would get a girls cup, and if they actually made them. Her son had done some research and indeed they were available at a large chain sports supply store. Ariel and I went off that evening to the store and bought her the official gear and also, some chest protection that was not required for the boys.
Ariel played every season and every game until she graduated.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15
Ariel has severe learning disabilities and struggled with school, but never gave up. She graduated from college with a degree in dance and psychology and is now working with young people who are transitioning out of child services into an independent life. She had lots to manage throughout, but she retained the good things she has learned and persevered. Today I want to remember all those who have persevered and produced a crop. I want to give thanks for those in our lives who have not returned evil for evil. Those who have not hit back when they were hit but who persevered knowing that God’s love was stronger and mightier than anything the world can dish out. They produced even when they had every right to give up. And today, I want to try to be like Ariel and all others, who despite the odds, have battled to participate, advocated so others could participate, and who would not give up until there was a good crop and a good yield. May God bless us all with the strength to hear, retain and persevere today.