Earlier this week, Palmer sent me the story that I’d seen several other people post. It seemed to have created some buzz, but I had shirked it off as just the latest viral video of the day. I didn’t think it was anything special. I was very wrong.
The link was in an e-mail with simply the link and the subject line, “tears”. I opened the link and skimmed the story.
A 96 year-old man named Fred Stobaugh whose wife of 73 years had just passed away wrote a love song about her. Oh boy. Sounded like the subject line of the e-mail was warranted. But then, I became intrigued. The song was produced by a music studio in Fred’s town. Sounds good, but I was at work and I don’t think tears streaming down my face would be the most appropriate thing in the middle of the afternoon.
I’ll be honest… it’s been a tough few years to be a Memphis Tigers football fan. Ever since DeAngelo Williams left to the NFL, there haven’t been many wins and there’s been some coaching changes. It’s corresponded with my full-fledged baptism as a Vanderbilt Commodores football fan, which also started out with some rough patches and speed bumps as I learned about the heartbreak that comes with that. BUT THEN JAMES FRANKLIN ARRIVED and Vandy football has become a force to be reckoned with.
But that’s not what this post today is about. Today’s post is about a Bright Spot that reminds me what makes Memphis so great: heart. The team bounced back last season with a new coach and new starting QB, Jacob Karam. And this YouTube video of Jacob playing the piano and singing a duet with a St. Jude patient has gone viral.
And as things get dusty in the man cave as you watch this, remember what makes Memphis so wonderful as a city and the Memphis Tigers so easy to cheer for, through good times and bad. It’s heart.
If you haven’t read my post, Because of Mary, I highly recommend you read that before you read this post. It provides some necessary context for what I write below.
A few tears streamed down my face as I fell asleep last night reading this article. Sobs came this morning as I tried to relay to my wife, Palmer, the tragedy of Robert Ethan Saylor.
In early January, at a movie theater in a mall in Frederick, Maryland, a 26-year old man named Ethan Saylor saw “Zero Dark Thirty.” He loved it so much that he clapped when it was over and wanted to see it again right away. You see, Ethan is special. Ethan has an extra chromosome. He has Down Syndrome. Unlike 90% of unborn babies today who show this extra chromosome in prenatal screenings, Ethan got to live 26 years of a wonderful life. A life cut too short, too soon.
As Palmer and my second wedding anniversary approaches, friends often ask the question of what I’ve learned in marriage. I’ve written about the power of marriage before. Some of our contemporary society’s most divisive and polarizing debates concern the fundamental nature of what marriage is or what marriage is not. More than half of American marriages end in divorce. There are countless posts out there on the internet written by conservatives, liberals, and everyone in-between about the nature of marriage, the decline of marriage, how that decline increases poverty and chances that children will commit crime and numerous other indicators that should worry us as a society. I’m not writing a post about that today.
As my second anniversary approaches, I look at what Christ says about marriage. I look at what Paul says about marriage. I ponder why Christ’s relationship with the Church is a frequent model for husbands and wives in marriages. There are many theological and political debates to be had here, but that is not my intention. What Paul calls the “profound mystery” holds the key to my reflection on marriage, which reveals within me how self-centered I can truly be. But while Palmer loves me in spite of and sometimes even because of my self-centeredness, I’m humbled and begin to grasp 1% of what Christ’s unconditional and sacrificial love is all about.
In honor of the U.S. Open this weekend, I found it appropriate to share this amazing story I saw on TV a couple days ago. This young man is a true testament to the underrated healing powers that sports can have on our souls. Zakki is a true inspiration and I’m really proud to be a part of the same First Tee organization that he represents so well.
Here is Zakki’s story: Read more
I always love when I get reminders that the many friends of The Wise Guise are infinitely more brilliant and world-changing than we are. And, whenever I get the chance, I want to use this little-blog-that-hopefully-could to highlight the work that our friends are doing around the country and around the world. In fact, it’s something I want our blog to start doing more.
So as many of you grit and grind away on this first Monday in June, I wanted to share with you a short video from my dear friend, Banks Benitez. Banks was a fraternity brother of mine at Vandy and one of my best friends. He’s currently doing some amazing work at the Unreasonable Institute. God is using him in amazing ways.
But a very surprising way is by speaking at Impact Boulder. Here’s his quick summary of what he was asked to do: “I was selected to give a speech here in Boulder at Ignite Boulder, which is a quarterly gathering for the tech community that features 12 speakers, 5 minutes per presentation, 20 slides, and 15 seconds per slide (advancing automatically). It’s fun and lighthearted and the audience (about 1,000 people) are all well on their way to being less than sober. You can’t pitch your business, so it’s silly topics like embracing awkwardness.”
So Banks, who we’ll just say is nowhere close to one of the most extroverted friends I had in college, stepped up on the stage with his parents in the audience, and talked about embracing awkwardness. By embracing awkwardness.