After the lesson, the high schoolers were going to play a quick game that required two teams. The teacher selected the captains. Usually, Pamela and I— as her aide in social settings—are often picked last for two reasons: she is the new kid on the block and is the only homeschooled teen at our church, except for her brother. One of the team captains has only recently started attending youth. I was shocked that he picked Pamela as his second choice out of about twenty potential candidates. If the teacher put him up to it, it was not obvious for he did not act wishy-washy. He pointed to us and blurted out in his brash way, “I want you two on my team!” While we waited for the other captain to pick, he gave Pamela a high five.
Our team captain named us the purple parrots, had us huddle, and revved us up with a pep talk. We each put a hand in the center and chanted, “Purple parrots,” before heading out to the competition. In the relay race, a teammate must don yellow rub gloves (fingers and thumbs filled), clap once, and hand the gloves to the next person in line.
The purple parrots lost the relay, but we had the most spirit. The way in which the captain welcomed Pamela made me feel like a white dove had hoisted the colors of peace over our team. I will store that treasure in my heart for times when the world slaps us with a spirit of confusion rather than that of kindness.