Love does not make the small feel smaller (pt2)

by Craig on June 17, 2011


I dribble the ball up court until two huge guys step up to surround me.

Their arms flail like octopi, all 16 of them grabbing at the ball.

This is part two of the story, part is one right below today’s post. (or you can click here)

Finally one of the octopi reaches the ball. Then there are four arms on the ball besides mine. Twisting and turning I break loose and fall to the ground – with the ball.

Then another whistle…

I didn’t know you needed to keep one foot on the ground as you held the ball if you happened to be lying on said ground.

Called for another violation,
I hear the snickering,
I see the shaking heads of the coaches,
I want to run and hide but I can’t.

But still, I was a quick little kid – I was not without some ability.

Immediately after the call the other boys pass the ball inbounds.

I dart in between,
steal the ball,
begin dribbling toward the basket,
no one is in my way,
redemption is in sight.

A layup – the most basic shot in the game.


It’s so easy that a missed one is like a model tripping on the runway. Except, never having done a layup on a real basketball court, I was in big trouble and didn’t know it.

The ball goes up,
misses everything,
thuds to the ground.

Whistles blow,
laughter is everywhere,
the coach with the clipboard says,
“Enough Scaggs! Off the court!”

That derisive nickname would hound me the next two years.

I can feel the glare of every eye as I walk to the sidelines.

I pass through the insults,

like a gauntlet,

not stopping,
through the locker room,
out the door of the school,
and toward home.

Along the way I climb an apple tree, pick an apple and take a nice juicy bite.

But a hornet is eating the same apple.



The hornet doesn’t appreciate sharing.
The hornet shows his displeasure.

The sting is the last straw that breaks the silence of shock, and opens the floodgates of emotion and tears.

I drop from the tree,
continue my plodding steps,
through the pain of the sting,
dealing with the sting of the whole experience,
repeating words I had heard often from my father,
and so often this day.

And I know them to be true.

“You’re an idiot. You can’t do anything right. Stupid! What were you thinking?! You’ll never be good enough! Un-needed, unwanted, unacceptable.”

The house is empty when I get home.
That’s just fine.
Through the front door,
up the steps,
turning right,
down the hall,
to my room,
shut the door.

And today as I so “bravely” proceed with the Love War on the negative voices – what do I hear?

“Do you really think anyone will want to read this?”

“Who are you to pretend you know anything about fighting this “war”?

“You can’t even defeat the negative voices in your own head, what makes you think you can help people defeat the negative voices in theirs?”

“You’re an idiot. You can’t do anything right. Stupid! What were you thinking?! You’ll never be good enough! Un-needed, unwanted, unacceptable.”

“Turn around now. Go back to the fluffy love stuff. Write a cute little piece about your darling little cat. If you just back out now everybody will forget that you ever even started this idiot’s war.”


The mistakes of that day need not be repeated here…

I wasn’t prepared then.
I didn’t count the cost.
I allowed things to snowball.
I didn’t have God.
I was alone.
I was just a kid.

Now doesn’t need to be the same…

That bears repeating I think…

Now. doesn’t. need. to be. the same…

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora June 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

And I’m sitting here thinking, Why in the world would I EVER think my comments on this blog would mean anything to Craig who knows everything and to those others who are reading your blog who are so much further down the spiritual road than I am????? That’s now the second voice I hear. At least it has been demoted to second place. The first voice I hear is to encourage you and let you know how much this all means to me and that my “nows” have a sunrise in them. First of all, at 7:00 am this morning I was at my computer checking to see if you had posted yet. THAT’s how important your story and what you have to say is to ME. So you are NOT unneeded, unacceptable and unwanted. Second, I know how a hornet’s sting in the mouth can ruin your already ruined day. Mine was in a PB&J sandwich. To this day, I always pull the top back and check.


Craig June 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm

pshaaaaaaa, first of all, to that thought you had!! Your comments mean the world to me – and enough people comment about your comments to prove that they are valuable here :-)

and Cora, now that I’m writing my posts before dawn – and since the two of them together take 5 to 6 hours to write – at least as well as I’d like to write them – and even that’s not as well as I’d really like to write them – that would mean I would have to start writing at 1 AM straight through to 7 AM in order to post a finished product. So that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. Thank you for looking for my post – I appreciate that – lots.((( smile)))

And I’d rather not talk about the Hornets sting :-) God bless you Cora.


Kristin June 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I agree with Cora, you are SO not unneeded! I love coming here to see what you have to say, from the kitty posts, to deep scriptural stuff, to the deep from the heart testimonies. So blessed to have met you! :)
Although, this did bring back a bad memory of stirring up a hornets nest in my back yard last year and getting stung 5 times and then they went after my dog. :( Good thing is, we heal! :)


Craig June 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm

thank you Kristin, your encouragement means more than you can know. I consider myself blessed to have met you too! And sorry about the reminder :-) God bless and keep you Kristin.


Michelle June 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Now doesn’t need to be the same…

That bears repeating I think…
Now. doesn’t. need. to be. the same…

Such truth in those simple words. And we do grow stronger. And we do hear the RIGHT voice more often. But the other voice … the lying voice … it likes to hang around. And even though it gets quieter and quieter as we hear our Father’s voice more, it can sometimes still be the first voice we hear.


Craig June 18, 2011 at 9:44 am

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – Michelle, I have to keep reminding myself of this.

Now doesn’t need to be the same…

To see as He sees, and think as he thinks, everything would be different – the negative voice would not be the first one we’d hear. Thank you Michelle, thank you – and God bless.


JennaFarelyn June 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

Thank you for talking about the negative voices. And it doesn’t need to be the same. The total of our experiences have brought us to where we are, but we have lived. We have grown. We have endurance and resiliency. And we have a God who made us exactly the way he wanted us to be. And who wants us to talk about the things you talk about here. The voices, the internal struggle, the realness.. and to tell our stories about how God has been with us, affected us, healed us, drawn us to Him. Not to preach a distant God.. but a God who gathers us onto his lap after the missed layup, after the hornet sting, while we are alone in our room. And who gives us the courage to show up at practice the next day. God bless you, Craig.


Craig June 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

thank you Jen – although I didn’t show up for practice the next day – these were tryouts, and at the beginning of the part one I said that I didn’t know what the word “cut” meant – I learned the next day. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, with the voices already echoing, and voices that still echo, it really is time for them to go. God bless you Jen


Shelly W. June 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm

You are very brave to dredge up those memories. I can feel your pain. Thank you for writing and thank you for encouraging me today, Craig. You are MOST necessary!


Craig June 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

people always say it’s brave to dredge up the unhappy stuff – for me it doesn’t seem so brave – it’s always in the background anyway. The brave part is and sharing it here, in front of everybody. Stories that make us look better, braver – those are the easy stories to share – the rest we – at least I – would rather shove in the closet. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for your kind words. God bless and keep you and all of yours Shelly.


Cindy Holman June 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Craig – it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable in your writing – but it is a necessary step to healing as well. I have found that to be true – so I salute you. Keep writing – you have people who need to hear about your journey in the faith.


Craig June 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Cindy, you are so right – it’s easier to portray myself as better than I am – the inter-webs allows us to do that – but if I’m not real – why bother writing. Thank you for your encouragement – thank you for visiting – thank you for reading – thank you for being so nice – and God bless you and keep you.


thefisherlady June 20, 2011 at 12:16 am

I love this, Craig… you’ve expressed so well what I think at some time in everyone’s life, we go through. But like you said, “Now doesn’t need to be the same!” With God you are a majority and He is always on your side. He walks with you dear friend and I want you to know I did enjoy this post so much… I see it happen like you shared, every day with the children I come across as a teacher and my heart cries for them all, as it cried with you. To be there for them and give them a Hope and a little lift when they have been knocked down … well I pray it helps a little .
Blessings friend… love your heart


Craig June 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I can envision you at the school – with an eye on the ones who might need it – and the heart that reaches out to them. That makes me smile – BIG. The voices that get planted in our heads early on – they stay with us for a long time. Thank you Susan, and God bless you.


Debbie June 21, 2011 at 1:22 am

Thank you so much Craig, for living out the “now doesn’t have to be the same.” You are helping so many . . .me included. :) The voices may stick around . . .but I don’t have to keep responding to them. At least not in the same way I did before.
God bless you and the witness you are for Him!


Craig June 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Debbie, that thing about courage not being the absence of fear, but standing up in the face of fear – that’s kind of me and the negative voices. It really is a war – and you’re right, the voices may stick around – but maybe we can put a red thing, and a round thing, on them – know what I mean? ^.^

God bless you Debbie!


Kris June 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Oh how terrible the negative voices that haunt us, that taunt us and threaten to choke out any semblance of joy and self-confidence in our lives. I battle them daily, that snake whispers in my ears and I have to plug them and command he leave me be, in the name of Jesus, the ONLY one who defines my true value. Bless you for writing this, for fighting the poisonous lies and taking the leap, sticking your heart out here in faith that Jesus is bigger than all this toxic chatter that knocks you around and bruises your heart. We have Christ and through him, by his strength we are more than conquerors! Write on, Craig. Praying for you!


Craig June 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

the way I look at it, there are two places that the inner negative voices can come from – one would be from the Evil One and his minions – and I think a lot of them come from there. Second would be – just us – just echoes from voices from our past. a lot of them come from there to. In either case I think prayer is the first line of defense. And as always – I heart being prayed for – thank you! I’ve said this before, but always choosing to be the lone Wolf, even after becoming a Christian, and then finally naming this year “connect” – I’m just getting used to being prayed for. It’s nice to know that I am. Always alleluia Kris :)


jumbo May 11, 2017 at 5:40 am

Nice keep on posting.


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