Scott and the Preacher · 21 October 2012

Photos courtesy Denise Knoth

Sometime chance meetings turn into funny stories. That was the case when Scott, my friend and fellow coach, met Aaron, a preacher friend of mine.

Scott would like nothing better than for everybody to have low expectations of him. He says that if people set the bar low enough, then doing his job well meets or exceeds those expectations. He perpetuates this persona by the things he publicly says and does. But Scott is a thoughtful and passionate person who can laugh at himself and the situation, even when it seems the wrong time to do so.

Recently, one of our coaches was going through some hard times. He was feeling blue and had his head down before one of our football games. I tried to help him through his pain by just listening to him. Then, I realized where we were and that I could have Aaron come pray with him. I asked if my friend would like that and he said yes. I knew my evangelistic preacher friend would be glad to do it.

I asked Aaron if he could pray with my friend after the game. He was, of course, more than happy to do so. Even though he coaches for one of our rival schools, he knew God’s team was much more important than the football team.

When the game was over, their team had won. My friend and I waited for Aaron to show up, but he was busy celebrating a big victory with players, coaches, friends, and neighbors. So we went off to do the rest of our duties after the away game.

After I left one coaching friend, I ended up near the busses talking to Scott about the game. It had been a close one that we lost in the final minutes. Scott and I were replaying the game and talking about the things we could have done and the bounces that did not go our way. Then, we just stood silently and brooded about the final outcome. Naturally, that was when Aaron showed up.

Aaron is always smiling. He shines God’s light in every situation and it was especially bright after their big win. He came right up to Scott and stood there for a moment. Aaron is very focused and stood close to Scott looking intently at his face. Then, he stuck out his hand and introduced himself with a grin. “Hi, I’m Aaron.”

As I have said, Scott is a very passionate person. We have talked on the headphones during games for many years now and his passion comes through the airwaves into those little speakers. I did not think about Scott’s passion expressing itself toward Aaron until he very slowly and calmly said, “I’m Scott.” In the milliseconds it took me to realize what self-control this effort took on Scott’s part, I also realized what was happening.

Photos courtesy Denise Knoth

I quickly put my arm around Scott’s shoulders and laughed, “While I am sure Scott could use the prayers, this is not the coach I was talking about.”

Scott’s guard came down and we all laughed as he made some funny comments about Aaron and the locals. It could have been a tense moment, but everybody took it in stride. Especially, Scott. We all chatted and laughed for a bit before parting ways.

Scott and I have laughed about the incident a couple times since that night. Looking back, I think it helped to get us out of a sour mood about the game. If only for a moment of lightness at an offered prayer.

I am sure that when Scott and Aaron see each other again, they will remember the story of their initial meeting. I know I will always remember it as the chance meeting of Scott and the preacher.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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