Sunday, February 22, 2015

Academy Awards Time For Us All

Photo by cliff1066 / flickr

It’s Academy Awards Time. And up and down the red carpet the stars and semi-stars will preen and strut and just know they will win. There is probably as much egomania there as you would find at a Preacher’s convention.

I make no predictions—though I do have some favorites. But I’ve been wishing I could pass out my own golden statues to the stars in my own life. People that made it possible. Those that, as Fosdick said, “put the stars back in my sky.” We all have these people were at times our lifeline or just put their arms around me and said, “You can do it.”

I’d have to begin taking a golden man and handing it out to my parents. They did what they could. Hard times. Little money. Despite all sorts of difficulties—they stayed together and kept our little family going. Their names were never in the paper except maybe their obituaries. But without them I don’t know what I would have done.

I remember my first grade teacher. That little barefoot boy thought she was the purtiest woman I ever saw. She took an interest in me. Made me feel like I mattered. Pass me another Oscar please.

I remember a friend during those painful growing-up years. Two, in fact. We laughed; we talked about everything, Jesus, the future, movie stars and just about everything else. They helped me over that awkward hump. I am grateful.

I remember a Junior-High School teacher. She sidled up to me and said, “Are you going to college?” And the light came on. If she thought I could go—maybe, just maybe I could.

I remember my friend that never made it to college—yet she saved up her nickels and dimes from her menial job and sent me money during those college years.

I probably don’t have enough Oscars to go around for the college years. The friends, the teachers that opened doors I did not even know were there. Those years helped shape me forever. Or I should say the members of my academy.

Seminary brought more heroes and champions. Friends, a Professor who whispered one day, “Did you ever think about writing.” The teachers who opened the black book and showed me a more excellent way.

Churches—Lord knows I did not realize at the time how many stars were there on those pews that would become part of my constellation. Old fat Deacons...neighbors that showed us how to change diapers and such. Or those along the way that challenged me and kicked my rear when it was needed. Those that genuinely cared about me and mine. Search Committee chairs...preacher-friends who made things fun. Faithful folk that came by with ham biscuits or casseroles or sometimes even a Christmas tree. Or just to really ask, “How you doin’?”

Of course my wife and my kids—for putting up with a Pastor-husband-father who often was too preoccupied to be much help. They loved me anyway—still do for some strange reasons...they deserve a golden statue. Probably more than one.

That handful that never, ever forget an anniversary or a birthday or Christmas. After all these years they remember and make me glad. Pass me another Oscar please.

The Two Amigos that just added the spice and richness and love and care despite who I was or what was happening in my preoccupied life.

Whew—I could go on and on. When they cut me open there will be many of their names written on my heart—it would be hard to find that organ.

I hope the passing out of these Golden Awards—will trigger something in your own mind—and you will remember with gratitude. Line up your own Oscars sometimes today or tomorrow and pass them out and be glad.

--Roger Lovette /

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