Bad, Stupid, & Ugly Words


When our daughter was growing up, Wes and I found ourselves spending hours upon hours in gymnasiums watching her play volleyball. We grew to love the sport and, more than once, found ourselves wondering if we would continue to go to games after she went to college. Well, we certainly do. In our “spare time,” one things  Wes and I enjoy doing together is refereeing volleyball. It’s funny to see the surprised faces when we know someone in the crowd who had no idea we do this. It’s also funny how very little we knew when we sat in the stands thinking we knew more than the ref!

Last weekend, I officiated a tournament in a nearby community, and I met a young man who made a lasting impact on me. His name is John. When John was a child, he had a brain tumor removed. When I met John, I knew there was something about him that was “different,” but I didn’t realize how very different he is.

John and his dad came into the hospitality room where I was enjoying some quiet time and waiting for the next match. His dad spoke and asked me how I was doing. I replied, “Well, thank you.” John said, “Well, I’m BAD!” I told him I was sorry to hear that, and he said, “Don’t be! BAD means I’m ‘Blessed And Delivered!” I told John I thought that was awesome, to which he replied, “Well, then you’re STUPID.” I thought I might be losing my patience with John, because BAD is one thing but STUPID? Of course, he then let me know that it means “Spiritually Tuned Up Praying In Depth!” By this time, realizing he had an attentive audience, he asked me if I’d looked in the mirror lately, because I was UGLY! Now, hang on a minute….but of course, I was eager to know what ugly stood for…and it was the best of all. Unconditionally God Loves You.

His dad told me that John refuses to dwell on or say anything negative, and he turns “bad, ugly, and stupid” words into something good. John told me it doesn’t matter what people say to him–because he’s BAD, and he knows it.

Sure does make me happy to be UGLY. Thank you, John. You shone a light that’s stayed with me for weeks.

Until next time, stay STUPID.

~ Karen


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