Where is Kevin Arnold?

Last week, Brittany and I were watching TV and caught an episode of The Wonder Years I had not seen before. It was the one about choosing teams for basketball. 

In that horrible way that we all experienced, the coach selected certain boys to be captains and they took turns choosing the players they wanted on their teams. Of course the worst players were chosen last – among them Kevin’s friend Paul. 

Kevin, grieved by how this process makes those chosen last feel, goes to the coach privately and expresses his concern that its “unfair.” The coach’s solution is to select Kevin to be a captain and see if he will choose the good players over the bad ones.  

When it came time for Kevin to make his first pick – he argued with himself and then, true to his noble heart, he picked his friend Paul. Everyone laughed! With each opportunity, Kevin goes on to prove his point by selecting all of the worst players to be on his team. In the course of their game, they face how terrible they are with honesty… but they also find again how to have fun simply playing the game. 

What I like about this story is that Kevin doesn’t have any illusion about the bad players. He wants them to have a little dignity and respect. This is a godly attitude. Paul said, “…but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Defending the cause of the helpless is a part of God’s character and His heart. The Psalmist wrote, “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).   

The noble heart sees the mistreatment of people, (and even animals) as an assault on God. The neglect of care for the oppressed is the neglect of God as well. We may not change the world by picking the bad player first at basketball – but it might be changed by picking them last. I just read that the young man who killed so many this week was teased and picked on a lot. Where was his Kevin Arnold? 

telemicus out

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