The Unspoken Ministry

Some call him “Grumpy”
Some say he’s mean.
Some even run at the sound of his name.
Some shutter, others cower.
Still others say he’s sour.
Jealous words and the price of his fame.

Yet they’ve awarded him.
Some have courted him
To coach for their teams.
Big money, more power,
Prestige, greater fame.
Success of which everyone dreams.

Why does he stay?
Why won’t he go?
Why does he tolerate
Small minds, jealous foe?
Why does he keep on day after day
Challenging our children in his own special way?

Look past the frown.
Look ‘neath the skin.
Go deeper – yes, deeper
To his heart deep within.
There beats a life force full of love and concern
For his kids whose lives he quietly discerns.

When high school is over
His kids must go on.
College is the answer
So he gets on that phone.
Hours and hours, all day and all night,
He finds them a college that for them is just right.

Few thank him.
Few laud him.
So few are aware
Of his unspoken ministry and how much he cares.
These great kids, the legacy he gives to the world
Future leaders, his kids, and God’s special pearls.

Source of Inspiration for The Unspoken Ministry
My son’s football coach was inducted into the High School Football Hall of Fame for his dedication to the sport and his record of wins.  But his underlying message went unnoticed until I wrote this poem for him on the occasion of his 50th birthday.  The people who knew him the best, his family and close friends, cried when they read the poem because they knew what Coach did was for his kids, not for the glory of the win.  Time and again, colleges would offer him more money and prestige to coach college football, but his place was at the high school level helping his kids get scholarships playing football to pay for the college education that many of them would not get if he didn’t help them.  When the fall football season was over, Coach didn’t stop there.  He got on the telephone talking to recruiters all over the nation trying to place as many of his kids as possible.  His ministry was his kids he coached, and giving them the opportunity to earn a higher level of education through the sport they loved.

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