CELEBRATE

So, who does not love the Astros? I think everyone loves them, but I have learned that there are a few unfortunate people who, for some reason, cannot forgive some of the players for mistakes they made in the past, and they continue to hate our whole team.

But I love the Astros. And I love how the team, in spite of the angst directed at them, have moved past that, and shown they are worthy of the love of the city of Houston and other cities around the world. They are “celebrated” here in Texas.
When I wear my Astros hat, I make friends wherever I go, because always there is someone, who also loves them, and wants to tell me. That makes me smile.
So when the Astros won the world series a few days ago, I wanted to be a part of the planned celebration in order to show support for this team, because they have worked so hard. I have not been able to go to any of the world series games, because I had traveled to Tennessee to help my son and his wife with their baby daughter, for two weeks. This was scheduled way before we knew when the world series would be.
So when I came home from my trip there, I got up at four am, flew to Houston, drove to downtown with my husband at seven thirty am. so that we could find a good spot to celebrate and watch the team go by in the parade.

The parade was not to happen until noon so we brought one chair and some water and we camped out one row back from the protective fencing on Smith Street. The reason we came so early, was because the last time the team won and had a parade, we waited until an hour before the parade to arrive, and we could not see anything, because we were so far back. We had the kids with us and had them on our shoulders so they could try to see, but we could not really see anything ourselves.
As we sat and watched the antics of the crowd with amusement for hours, the area behind us gradually filled up until it was full, all the way back to the buildings behind us. There were people leaning out of the parking garage and even hanging in the trees.

But then, at about twenty minutes before the parade was to start, this man and his kid came pushing all the way up to the front, to our spot and tried to push past us to the actual fence, but the ladies in front of us had made sort of a barricade of their chairs lined up, so no one could get in front of them (lol smart in my opinion).
I like children and I have five of my own so I did not want to tell this little guy to “get out of my face”, but it would have been nice if the dad had ASKED us if we minded …
My husband was standing guard behind me, watching my back, but this kid was basically encroaching from the side.
But I thought about all the people who were there, like us, early as heck, and some were college students who probably needed to study and who might not have had transportation to get there. Some were elderly or handicapped, who needed help to get to a spot to see. Others were carrying babies in strollers and had handfuls of children to entertain for several hours.

Everyone who was at the parade, could come up with “legitimate” “conditions” justifying being able to PUSH to the front of the parade viewing area but no one did, except this man and his kid, and the kid on the other side who was alone (because the mom, gratefully, held back).

Suddenly I realized (through prayer) that every time Jesus was surrounded by people, being crushed or pushed and shoved by a crowd, he ESCAPED. LOL. It made me want to laugh. Jesus got on top of a mountain to teach , or went out to a boat, or got on a moving camel or donkey, or he kept walking TO AVOID CROWDS. “And seeing the multitudes, he went up onto a mountain” Matthew chapter 7. GO JESUS!! lol So, I thought to myself, he did not just move forward, he gained a new vantage point, a new perspective.

If it had been me by myself, I would have also probably fled, just like Jesus did, even though I had come great distance and at great expense to watch this parade…so that tells you how much I did not like that situation I was in. But my husband was really enjoying being there so I sat, and mentally gained a new vantage point, or perspective as well.

Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way” Corinthians chapter 13 :4.
So I did not say anything to the man and his son or to the little girl, and even tried to move out of the way when trinkets were thrown in my direction so the kids could “score”.

I was able to gain a new perspective, and a better vantage point partly because I watched a movie called “Different Drummers” and it was about two little boys, Lyle and David, and their friendship.

The movie was about David, but I found myself to be more interested in Lyle because he was boisterous, always getting into trouble, (kind of like the little boy beside me at the parade) but he had a beautiful kind and giving heart and was always wanting to help David, who was wheelchair bound.

When the school wanted to put Lyle on medication to control his behavior, I felt outraged. It did not control his behavior, it changed him and destroyed his motivation and his outreach.

The little boy Lyle in this movie reminded me immediately that, even though this little boy beside me seemed annoying, that he, like Lyle in the movie, was still lovable, if I had just tried a little harder.

When I was in journalism class, I was told that when I am around difficult people, or boring people, or rude people, I should try to “find out their story”. This class taught me to recognize that every person has a “story” and it is my job to figure that story out. In the process of doing this we will discover that we are entertained, and possibly full of love for that person.

I went back in my mind to thinking about Jesus, and how, when he was a little boy, he ran off to the temple for three days without his parents. Would I have been annoyed with him? What would I have thought if I was someone in the temple at that time? Would I have thought he did not belong there or would I have been interested in finding out “his story”.

I have had boys to raise, and I know how rambunctious boys can be, which is one of the reason I think boys should play sports like baseball, so they can run, and learn how to be part of a team. My own boys had to go to running club each morning for a half hour before school, a wonderful program supported by volunteer teachers every morning, to help children who have lots of energy to express.

In life there will be people that others find difficult to embrace or love. President Trump, perhaps, is someone many find they “love to hate”. I find it easy to love him, but a lot of democrats, including some of my friends who claim to be Christians, find it hard to want to be open to him and know “what is his story” and cherish why is he the person that he is.

Instead they are always trying to entrap him and demonize him. God makes no mistakes and every person has a purpose and a story. When we do not do this, we miss beautiful opportunities for growth and healing of OURSELVES.

I do not appreciate the political manipulation being done by people around President Biden, and by he, himself in the past, but I have come to appreciate his story, one of a man who would do anything for his son, who is always standing in the shadow of the man who was in front of him. I feel sorry for his diminished stature, and for his ineffective strategies. I do not hate him, I love him and I pray for him.

Likewise, I am looking openly, to see the beauty in story of the man Trump, and figure out why some people are so bitter towards him. I can appreciate him and love him, myself, so I am working to try to appreciate and love the people who want to hate him. I am trying to understand their story so we can at some point have a conversation, the way people used to do, at the dinner table, or waiting in line at the grocery store.

I know now to praying for myself, for God to help me be more open to those who are difficult, instead of praying that the difficult people stop being difficult. It was an awakening moment to realize this.

Everyone has a story to tell, that makes them tolerable, even lovable, just like that little boy at the parade who reminded me of the little boy Lyle who had a great big beautiful heart. It is up to us, as Christians, to love our neighbors, and I, for one, am continuing to gain ground =). For this I am grateful.

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Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.