This was the first year my daughter, Haley, competed in something called “Mock Trial.” In a nut shell, students from different public and private schools send students to compete in make-believe trials before actual judges, with actual layers as juries, in actual courtrooms.
Haley posing before entering the court room.
The students are divided up into teams which work together through the season on a particular case. Each team member is assigned two characters to play, one when the team acts as the prosecution, another when they act as the defense. This seasons case was one involving a young woman being accused of vehicular homicide; Haley played a witness for the prosecution and an attorney for the defense.
On a side note, Haley is home-schooled, along with all of the other members of her team. Last night, when they competed against a very prestigious local private school (Baylor), the other team was shocked – they had never seen kids who home-schooled – they were amazed.
Anyway, mock trial is not simply a bunch of acting; it’s a real trial. Each participant must know the case, and the characters he or she brings to life, inside and out, and work as a team. The winners are the ones who can show that by literally being put on trial.
How Did I Do?
Sooooo…. Last night, on the way home, Haley asked me, “So, Daddy, how did I do?” I replied with, “Do you want me to tell you what I really think, or do you want me to answer you the same way you and your mother always answer me when I ask that question after I preach?”
Haley: Tell me what you really thought.
Me: Nah, I think I’ll just say what you always tell me after I preach, “It was good.“
Haley: Oh, no you don’t! NO! Do you really want to know what I thought about Sunday night? Huh? Do you!?
Me: Seeeeee, there ya’ go! I knew it!
Haley: OK! FINE! You want to know what I thought about the message you preached last night (Sunday)? Fine, I’ll tell you! …You preached like an OLD WHITE GUY!
Pause for explanation… Last week Haley went with a youth group from another church to a youth camp in Ridgecrest, NC. The speaker that weekend was a lively, energetic, funny, African-American – in other words, a BLACK preacher. His name was Shawn McBride.
Now, I have never heard Shawn McBride preach, but in my defense, I have never had the opportunity to speak to a thousand+ youth at a retreat, either; large hoards of effervescent hormones are not my typical audience. How one preaches to a bunch of crumb crunchers is different from how one preaches to those with blue “handicap” decals hanging from the rear-view mirror of their cars.
Me: What? Well did he preach anything doctrinally deep enough to wade in? Or, do I need to make my points from a ladder on stage? (she said he used a ladder at one point)
Haley: Sure, your stuff was deeper, that’s true – but you still preached like an OLD WHITE GUY!
You really don’t need to know all I said about Haley and her “acting,” do you? Really, I was nice – after about a minute. Then I bought her a cheeseburger.
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. – Romans 14:4 ESV
We just have to do the best with what God gives us…even if we are OLD and WHITE!