Monday, October 20, 2014

The Bestest Day of My Whole Life


"Yes, Zeke."

"This was the bestest day of my whole life."

Exhaustion had set in as my eyes could only see tail lights of all the traffic ahead. But, my heart? It was full and even overflowing. I could still see every moment of that day as his eyes twinkled and his heart leapt over and over.

As he nestled into his seat and closed his eyes, my mind quickly recalled seeing him for the first time almost 4 years ago. His little head peaked around the corner of a church in Uganda and saw my face. He ran away. He was scared, and I cried for his unknowing little soul.

It didn't take long before he realized that we were going to his "house." And he was going to ride in an automobile for the first time in his life. Climbing into my lap in the front seat, his smile was contagious. He felt the air conditioning and couldn't understand it. Putting one hand up to the vent, he would look at me and laugh. He tried the other hand. Then, his foot. And finally his face. His amazement at the things I thought nothing was mesmerizing.

And it brought me back to this past weekend. Some sweet friends gave us tickets to the Alabama vs. Texas A & M game. JT immediately decided that I should take Zeke. He already had plans to watch Jett play soccer in Gadsden. Knowing how much this little boy (well, maybe not so little anymore) loves football, we rearranged our schedule to make it happen. And boy am I glad we did.

You see, life has not been easy for this kid. He has known hunger. He has walked for miles to carry water. He has been lonely. And there's a lot more. But, for the sake of his tender heart, I'll leave that to him to tell one day. And oh, the stories he will tell. God has given him a past that will show His faithfulness and love for Zeke in a way that only the Lord can.

I got a glimpse of what God is going to do at that game. From the time we walked to the stadium to the moment we got home, he was full of excitement, wonder and enthusiasm like I had never seen. He yelled "Roll Tide" louder than anyone around us, danced to every piece of music played, and shouted for EVERY play of the game. His passion got the attention of everyone around us, and it was pure joy to witness.

While reading and math do not come to him easily, his love for football has allowed us to teach him in ways we have never employed before. Using an Alabama football program has improved his reading dramatically and making word problems about football? That's a winner around here. Using his passion to teach him has changed his mindset about learning. He wants to know more.

We pray that as he grows and begins to play football that God would use Zeke's passion for His great glory. May his love for the game foster opportunities to share about God's greatness in ways we cannot fathom. And may the sparkle in his eyes never diminish as he seeks to serve the Lord through his love of the game.

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