My connection with Centerville, TN in Hickman County started when I was a teen. A family from my home town of Paoli moved to Centerville, which started a long family friendship with Bill McDonald and his family. In fact, Bill has been one of the strongest influences on my narrative speaking style. During high school, I spent spring breaks in Centerville and made many great friends and memories in that little town. It was and is a good place with good people…
…which makes it interesting to me that it has been the scene of some controversy recently. A student at the county high school recorded 109 students saying two crude words. Now, they aren’t the most crude words that could have been chosen but it’s a bit shocking to hear them repeated 109 times in a row. On the video, some of the students repeat the words with great vim and vigor while others seem almost apathetic in their delivery. But the most striking thing to me was many of the students appeared reluctant to comply with the request to say the words. Yet, they did what they were told. I’ve attached the video in case you would like to see it. Watch at your own discretion.
As with any devaluing situation such as this, there is opportunity for redemption. And the opportunity was taken up by Chris Webb, youth minister at the Centerville Church of Christ. I assume the crude video would be more disturbing if I knew those teens personally. I also assume that the redemptive video would be more stirring if I knew those people personally. But even without the personal connection, the whole situation becomes a moving attempt at redemption. I’ll let you watch the video they created and you can judge the redemptive act for yourself.
But please, at least, let this video be a reminder that there are no small redemptions. Your actions and words, no matter how small they seem, can redeem situations, relationships and attitudes. And Christ has set the example and called us to redeem. So get to it.