The date was May 20, 2001, and the first time in 80 years the Washington Community High School commencement exercises would not be allowed to have an invocation or benediction. There was to be no mention of divine guidance or blessings on the students or their familes......thanks to the ACLU who sued on behalf of the parents of the valedictorian, and won their case on the eve of the scheduled commencement date.
Therefore, each speaker had to make a last minute editing of their speech to make sure there was no mention of God or prayer. All went according to the court order with no 'goof-ups' - until the final student walked proudly up to the podium.
The student, Ryan Brown, stood silent for a moment in front of the microphone before delivering his speech....an astounding sneeze, wherein the rest of the 92 graduates immediately rose to their feet and in unison said, "God Bless You", as the audience gave them a standing ovation.
Talk about a skillful speech writer!!!! Wow! Ryan and his fellow graduates, I assure you, also got praises from on High for such a well crafted commencement speech that outfoxed the devil and gave our Heavenly Father a well deserved high-five... and I'm sure put a smile on His face.
Ryan reminds me of another young man of a much earlier era that also put a smile on God's face. This young man was a skillful musician, poet, and psalm writer; and also said to be 'a man after God's own heart'.
The similarity between the modern Ryan and the Old Testament David is their courage plus their crafty way or communicating with or without words. Ryan stood up to the ACLU with a feigned sneeze (accidently on purpose), just as David stood up to Goliath with words such as; "Who does this Philistine punk (paraphrased) think he is to defy the army of the Living God?"... (which I'm sure put a smile on God's face) and then he followed up with one small stone in a slingshot that hit the bared forehead of the giant who had tipped back his helmet to scoff ( excuse the expression)...and died laughing.
Talk about a crafty, sneaky, tricky and skillful way of actions speaking louder than words; both young men, eons apart in time, made the devil skulk away defeated and their Heavenly Father smile.
Oh!...If only I could write a skillful poem, craft an awesome essay, or write something that would make my Father smile with pride before I'm six feet under, Then I could rest in perfect peace.
Associated Press: Incident of the May 20, 200l High School Commencement
1 Sam 13:14 David being called a Man after God's own heart.
1 Sam 17:26 David's speech about Goliath's audacity to defy God
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