Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ode to Tiger Stadium

Legendary LSU public announcer Dan Borne wrote a poem about the magic and majesty that is Tiger Stadium on a Louisiana Saturday night that LSU is using on a lot of its football promo material this year. It's too amazing not to share, so I thought I'd post it in honor of season kickoff week. This literally gave me chills. I wish I could make a game in Death Valley this year, but I'll see LSU play Ole Miss in O-Town in November! But without further ado, here's the poem...and Geaux Tigers!

"It is a pantheon of concrete & steel.
It's a city that rises defiantly in the Delta
Alongside the Father of Waters.
It is the humidity of autumn evenings
That drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias.
It is haunted...and it is loud.
It is Halloween night & Cannon blasts.
It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity
That cheers its Tigers to victory
And destroys the dreams of invading foes.
Chance of rain is...NEVER!
It is the cathedral of college football
And worship happens here.
When the sun finds its home in the western sky,
It is a field of glory for sure...
But much more than that it is a sacred place,
And it is Saturday night in Death Valley!"

-Dan Borne

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For the Times when You're Tempted to Whine

My very brief epiphany of the night: there are times when I think to myself that life just isn't fair, and then I remember that the Son of God Almighty being tortured and dying a humiliating death on a tree wasn't exactly fair either. Quite a humbling thought. What we view as temporary unfairness may in actuality be God planning something much bigger, better, and more beautiful in the end. Life may not be fair, but God's plan is always perfect. Lord, please give me the patience to see that. Your ways are truly higher than my ways and Your thoughts higher than my thoughts.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Lesson in Courage: My Review of The Help

I loved Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help. Loved it. However, I was nervous when I found out they were making it into a movie. Hollywood has this way of screwing things up sometimes especially when it comes to movies set in the Civil Rights era in the South, but when I found out Kathryn Stockett's childhood friend and fellow Mississippi native Tate Taylor was going to be directing it, I eased up slightly. Now that I've seen the movie, I've realized only a Mississippi native could have written that book or directed that movie. See, as someone who was born and raised in Mississippi, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my home state.

Now, before you go berating me for insulting my birthplace, let me explain. I love Mississippi. I love summer nights and the tune of crickets singing and fried chicken and the electricity of football season in the air and strong but delicate magnolia trees and a million other things about Mississippi, but my home state has a dark history that's no fault of its own. The guilt lies solely with its people and the way in which they've treated each other with injustice and allowed hatred over petty differences to engulf our state's history like a disease. Not that any other place doesn't have just as much guilt, but when I think about the horrors inflicted on African Americans and the hatred and fear felt by both races in my beloved Mississippi over the years, it just makes me sick. And it has always left me asking myself a haunting question. Would I have been brave enough? All through school when learning about the Civil Rights movement or even the Civil War, I always had that question in the back of my mind. Would I have been brave enough to do something about stand up for what is right? I hope that I would have been. I hope that I would have been one of those good people who knew that love and respect are neither black nor white who treated all people equally and spoke up when others didn't. I hope I would. Movies and books like this always find me hoping I'd have been one of those people, and I like to think there were more of those people than history lets on. People who fought in quiet ways that wouldn't get them in the textbooks but changed their world in smaller yet still significant ways.

I see a lot of myself in Skeeter Phelan - curly hair, single, writer, sassy, college-educated, career-minded Mississippi girl - and I hope that I'd have been as brave as she. It's a beautiful and moving book and an equally beautiful and moving movie. Read it. See it. Go out and live it...because injustice didn't end with the Civil Rights Act, and there are new injustices to fight everyday. The Lord has called us to stand up against them and to be set apart. Find your cause and fight for it, and He will be there beside you to give you strength and clear your path.