Monday, June 2nd

Happy Monday, Front Porchers, and happy two hundred and seventy-third birthday to Martha Washington. To commemorate such a momentous occasion (or really, because it’s a serendipitous occurrence), Kirk Watson is going to be our guest preacher at Parable this Sunday. This is a pretty cool thing, since we’ll get to hear about how he’s maintained his faith through a battle with cancer, various political offices, and family life.

It’s also Freddy Adu’s birthday today. Some of you–specifically, those who are hopeless sports trivia nerds, which is me–might remember him. He sprang fully-formed from the head of the American soccer consciousness, it seemed, rather than being born and raised by humans. He signed a contract with the professional team DC United when he was fourteen. Destined to be the US’s greatest ever player, he was dubbed “the next Pelé” and feted as the man to lead the stars and stripes to World Cup glory. Over the next several years, he bounced around teams in the US, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, and England.

There is a lot of despair in the story of Freddy Adu: the early promise unrealized, the failure of the anointed messiah, the apathy towards his slide into irrelevance. He’s not contracted to a team now, and seems likely to fade away to whatever hidden realm our deities enter when they’ve been ground down and used up. He’s too old, washed up, a has-been. Today, he turns twenty-five.

I don’t know if this story is about the burden we placed on a kid that he ultimately couldn’t bear. I don’t know if it’s about some kind of twisted American dream. I do know that it’s about treating people as if they are something not human. I do know that this story is about us, which is bad, because a person’s story should be about that person.

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