Yesterday a friend I knew back in high school (I knew his sisters better) told me a story about my older brother, Murry.
Both of my brothers played football. Murry, the one who later became a minister, played tackle. We were a small town, yet we had a great little football team. Jack, my friend, told me about playing the larger team in Kosciusko and how there was one player, John, that they needed to “take down” so they chose Murry to tackle him. Jack said, “Murry ran in, hit him hard and left him there on the ground” (I may have exaggerated), however, he said “Murry was the best tackle we had.”
When Murry received “his calling” to serve as a minister, the Methodist Protestant order stated that playing football was a sin so he stopped. I could not understand how a game of football could be a sin. Religion was a strange thing back then. There were so many rules in our church about what one could or could not do. I think this is the main reason I sought out the Catholic Church. It was knowing that all Catholic churches were all reading the same scripture; saying the same prayers and following the same rules that seemed right for me. I needed uniformity in my life. Of course, later, all the tragic actions of the church came to light. But then this is not about me.
Back to the story: Murry stopped playing and Sallis lost a really good tackle. However, he became a very good minister. He was always humble; always forgiving; he seemed to always be poor, however, mother made sure he had at least one nice suit, shirt and tie and a good pair of shoes to wear. There “should oughta be” a special world for mom’s everywhere.
I knew we had a pee wee football team, however, I had not heard this story. The hearing of the story brought tears; my brothers have been gone a long time now. Hearing stories about them makes my heart glad. So, Jack made my day yesterday with the telling of this story (as well as a few others).
Thank you, Jack, for taking time to share this story. It was most kind of you.