I thank God upon every remembrance

One of the great pleasures of grandparenthood is athletics. With three grandsons, we’ve been to innumerable soccer, basketball and baseball games and track events. Last summer I sat with my daughter watching a baseball game and saw a gentleman who looked familiar. I asked my daughter who he was, and she said he was James’ grandfather. She found James’ mother on Facebook and told me her birth name was Baggett.

“That has to be Mark Baggett,” I said.

So I went to speak to him and found it true.

Mark just retired from Samford University where he taught English and law. He worked for many years with his father at “The Alabama Baptist” newspaper. Mark came to Selma years ago to interview me for a story about race relations in the city, and I always enjoyed visiting with him when I found myself on Samford’s campus. I discovered later he lived at 405 Bibb Street in Marion when he worked at Judson College—the same house we lived in during our 15 years at the school. We used to joke about the ill-fitting garage door that he installed!

Now here we were as granddads cheering our grandsons who, fortunately, were teammates for the Vestavia Cobras.

I enjoyed sitting with Mark at a number of games and getting caught up after many years.

And it happened again a few Saturdays ago. We were at a basketball game when a gentleman came and tapped me on the shoulder. It was former Alabama Rep. “Noopie” Cosby of Selma, who told me our coach was his son, Drayton, who was a little boy when we lived in Selma and attended First Baptist Church together. Noopie was floor leader in the Alabama House of Representatives for Gov. Guy Hunt, met Susan in the governor’s office and later had Gov. Hunt perform their marriage!

Now here we were as granddads cheering our grandsons who, fortunately, are teammates for the Vestavia Hornets.

These experiences caused me to reflect on several things. I thought of the old adage about being nice to everyone you meet, because you may meet them later and need their friendship and help!

More seriously, I also thought of old friendships from long ago, and about the joy I’ve gained from people I’ve met.

The Apostle Paul took the last chapter of the book of Romans—what some call the greatest theological treatise ever penned—to call the names of good people who had encouraged him in his work. Dr. Dale Moody called Romans 16 a “21-gun salute.” Indeed it is. Not a salute with guns, but a salute with the heart.

God enriches our lives with the people he places in our path. -30-

Reflections is a weekly devotional feature written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.