Countdown to Glory; Countdown to Grief

Three games.
Two wins.
One golden volleyball. 

Fourteen players.
Two teams.
One church divided. 

Seven spectators.
Two injured teammates.
One biased scorekeeper.

One-and-a-half games of blowout.
One-and-a-quarter games of fight.
One-and-an-inspired time of comeback.

Three thousand poundings of the table.
Two thousand poundings of the heart.
One cup pounding the floor. 

Forty-two eyes beholding the spill.
Two that moved to action.
One gimpy servant.

Many errant swings.
Three momentum swings.
One fateful swing.

Five consecutive points.
Three or four close calls.
One Queen Kingrey serving and ruling.

Several points the reclaimed lead.
A couple of hopeful closings.
One heart-stomping finish.

Three wild hits.
Two unlikely saves.
One incredible point.

Sixteen celebrating elbow-armed fists.
Eight rejoicing tongues.
One bleeding lip.

One thousand cheers.
One hundred jeers.
One pastor’s tears.

Three games.
Two wins.
One golden volleyball. 



If there’s something more epic than a late Friday night church volleyball league matchup between two teams from the same church with seven whole people watching, I don’t know what that could possibly be. But it just happened at my church, and this poem memorializes the titanic nature of the clash.

Of course, you had to be there to see the completely non-competitive first game-and-a-half, the sudden change of momentum in game two that allowed the other team to have a wild comeback, the obnoxiously loud scoreboard guy cheering for those comebackers because they are his team but he has an injured knee and can only help by annoying the opponent with constant noise, the full water bottle spilling off the scorer’s table from all the table-pounding, vibrations of the obnoxious scoreboard guy, the clutch serves of one Mrs. Kingrey to wring the momentum back to her team definitively in the final game, the miraculous final point that should not have been except for the provident intervention of God, the flailing celebrating elbow connecting with a teammate’s mouth and causing blood to gush amid all the shouts of joy, and the weeping pastor whose team had just lost a heartbreaker unplugging the scoreboard he had been keeping.

You had to be there, but I’m sharing the poem anyway for posterity’s sake.

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