As you teach and coach, you are blessed with the opportunity to work with once in a lifetime young people. Lindsey Calder is one who fits in that category. After graduating from WCS, Lindsey enrolled at Rhodes College where she majored in philosophy. She is a very unique blend of grace and charm, intellect and beauty. Of all the students I have taught, I would guess her thought process is closer to mine than anyone elses. (Hopefully, that would be taken as a compliment!) Below is an article I penned about the lovely Ms. Calder, one of the first of my blogs from November of 2005. I hope it does Lindsey justice.
If you are a football fan, you know the term 'special teams.' These are players who work as a unit in kicking situations: field goals, extra points, punts, kickoffs. To protect against onside kicks, or a play when the kicking team can recover a kickoff, squads employ what is called the 'hands team.' This group is made up of receivers and backs who are adept at catching the football. We all know the Allstate Insurance motto: "You're in good hands with Allstate." Sometimes it backfires in football. Our local NFL team, the Texans, lost on Sunday when their 'hands team' fumbled their game away to the Rams. The 'hands team' dropped the ball.
I tell my Bible classes you can tell about people by looking at their hands. I worked in a grocery store in high school. The men in the meat department always had nicks and cuts on their hands. Mechanics and printers often have stained fingers. One of my basketball players worked at Wendy's and you could tell when she came off a shift. Her job often was cutting onions and it took time for the smell to wear off. The scent of tobacco on smokers' hands gives them away. Painter's hands are flecked with paint. I speak with experience. During summers after high school, I worked on the maintenance crew at York College. My painting skills were so horrendous that Vance Law, head of buildings and grounds, permanently barred me from holding a paint brush on campus. Happily, Haiti and Honduras do not have a reciprocal agreement with US colleges and the ban has not been enforced on my subsequent mission trips!
All this brings me to Lindsey Calder. I work out three times a week. One byproduct of lifting weights, beside improved muscle tone, is callouses. I sport three callouses on both hands, underneath my pinkies and the two adjacent fingers. Between classes, I stand at my door and talk to students going down the hall. I exchange high fives with kids I have taught in the past. One day after slapping hands with Lindsey, whose locker is next to my class, she asked, "Why do you have callouses on your hands?" I explained it was due to the weight room. Her reply was simple and direct: "Why don't you just wear gloves?" If you don't keep up with fitness equipment, I should explain there are gloves made specifically for weight lifting that prevent callouses. Of course, they cost money and I am frugal. We know the phrase, "consider the source." That's what I did. Most of you won't know Lindsey but she is one of the most incredible young people you could ever meet. She is very gifted academically, extremely conscientious of her responsibilities to herself and her school, and a terrific soccer player. I admire Lindsey as much as any student I have taught so you know what I did? I went to Wal-Mart and for less than $10, purchased weight gloves. I admit I'm not used to them yet but my callouses are disappearing. Others suggested what she did but I didn't listen. Because I have so much respect for Lindsey, I took her advice and my hands will never be the same.
We might not think of hands as a big Biblical subject but they are. There are 519 references to hands, some in a physical sense and some in figurative. The Psalms link clean hands with purity while in the Law of Moses, washing hands is seen as a token of innocence. The Holy Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands. Jesus said that God had placed everything in his hands. While it is unstated, I would guess at the beginning of his ministry, the hands of Jesus were still the hands of a carpenter, nicked and scarred and like mine, calloused. Let me reiterate the point about being able to tell about people by their hands. Who else but Jesus would have taken the nails in his hands for you and me while still having the tenderness to pick up and bless the smallest child? The hands of the Master- still at work today in the lives of his followers. And where has he put the responsibility of carrying on his work? In our hands.
Applicable quote of the day:
"One thing is certain. You can't shake hands with a fist."
David Allan Coe
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org