‘Twas a peerless October day, and the first SEC game day of my life. I didn’t actually attend the game. But I visited the tailgating, saw Tim Tebow — from behind, from a distance — glimpsed the game opening on the jumbo-tron from outside the stadium, saw so much maroon and white, and heard so much cowbell.
I’ve never been a football fan, but I understood it better, being at least somewhat there today: the weather, the excitement, the camaraderie, nostalgia, the feeling of being part of something bigger than any one person.
(The convenient thing about football is that it is ultimately more or less meaningless. You get all the great vibes of rallying round a cause, without the uncomfortable necessities of rallying round a cause.)
Crowds generally make me feel lost and lonely, but I liked this crowd, because I could move through it without feeling conspicuous, and because I had two tall brothers to escort me. We tried to interpret the meanings of rumbling yells we heard, and were duly excited when — contrary to probabilities — our team won.
But today wasn’t just about noticing the big facts of Bulldog Nation. There was time also for smaller things. The flavor of MSU chocolate ice cream on my tongue, the giddiness of running down a sidewalk and round a flagpole just because, the vivid colors of an autumn leaf with electric green veins.
He woos me in the details, sending good on the heels of good, scattering my way with gifts for me to find. He calls me by my name, knows me outside and in, and joins me to something so much bigger than me: to Himself. I walk amongst a cloud of witnesses, redeemed ones, wrapped in the color of His grace, participants in His greatest-of-all-victories.
I taste and I see: He is good.
©2014 by Stacy Nott