A Conspiracy Of Kindness
Kevin is a boy who might be described as "slow." He didn't learn his
ABCs as fast as other kids. He couldn't compete in schoolyard races.
But Kevin had a way with people. His bright smile and big heart won
him plenty of friends.
My friend Randy, the pastor at Kevin's church, decided they needed a
basketball team for boys. Kevin signed on and soon basketball became
a center of his life. He practiced hard. While the other boys worked
at dribbling the basketball and shooting lay-ups, skills Kevin would
never master, he simply shot baskets. Or more correctly, he threw
the ball AT the basket. He had a special spot near the free throw
line. He threw and threw, and it occasionally went in. On the rare
times that he succeeded, Kevin raised his arms and shouted, "Look at
me, Coach! Look at me!" Randy looked at him. And smiled.
The day before their first game, Coach Randy gave each player a
bright red jersey. Kevin was number 12. He scrambled himself into
the sleeves and wore that jersey almost every day. Everywhere. One
Sunday morning the church worship service was interrupted by Kevin's
excited voice. "Look, Coach!" He lifted his gray wool sweater to
reveal the red jersey underneath with number 12 on the front. Nobody
there minded the interruption; the congregation knew Kevin and loved
I'd like to be able to tell you that the team did well. But the
truth is.they never won a game that season -- except for the night
it snowed and the opposing team never showed up.
At the end of the season, the boys played in the church league's
tournament. As the last-place team, they drew the unfortunate spot
of playing against the best team -- boys who had never lost a game
Game day arrived. Both teams played their best, but the game went as
expected. Near the end of the last quarter, Kevin's team stood
nearly 30 points behind. It was then that one of the boys called
timeout. "Coach Randy," he said, "this is our last game and Kevin
has never made a basket. I think we should let him make a basket."
The team agreed. Kevin was instructed to stand at his special place
near the free throw line and wait. He was told that when he was
given the ball, he should shoot.
Kevin was ecstatic. He ran to the floor and waited. When the ball
was passed to him he shot -- and missed. Number 17 from the other
team snatched the rebound, dribbled down the court for an easy
basket. But a moment later Kevin got the ball again. He shot -- and
missed again. Number 17 repeated his performance scoring two more
points. Kevin shot a third and fourth time with the same result.
But slowly the other team seemed to figure out what was going on and
the next time they snatched the rebound, a boy threw it to Kevin! He
shot...and missed. Now every rebound came to him and he threw and
threw toward the basket. Time was running down and Kevin still had
BOTH teams circled the boy by this time and all of the players were
shouting, "Kevin! Kevin!" The crowd took up the chant. Soon everyone
in the gym was shouting Kevin's name.
Coach Randy was sure that time must have run out; the game HAD to be
over. He glanced at the official clock. It was stopped at 4.3
seconds. Even the timekeepers joined in the mania and stood by their
table shouting with the crowd, "Kevin! Kevin!"
Kevin shot and shot. Everyone was screaming. He attempted again and
again and again and...miraculously, one of his shots took a crazy
bounce on the rim. Everyone held their breath.
The ball dropped in.
Chaos reigned. Nobody remained seated. Everyone stood and cheered as
if one boy had single-handedly won a world championship. Kevin's
arms sprang up in the air and he shouted, "I won! I won!" He had
scored. His team escorted him off the court, the clock ticked down
and the game was over.
That day an undefeated team retained their perfect record. But
everybody won. Everybody. Because everybody had participated in a
crazy conspiracy of kindness that was so compelling, so powerful,
the earth itself might have stopped for a moment to rejoice with one
How beautiful it is when we all conspire together in kindness.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier -- Copyright © 2010 -- from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
All Rights Reserved.