Feb 04, 2022 |
For the Bengals| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
For the Bengals
"Cincinnatians are often curious about me moving here. They ask me why I, a Californian, would live here instead of, well, California. I like to ask them what they love about Cincinnati. They unfailingly have a list ready to go, their passion and pride clear and unabashed. And they usually list several things I love too. And then I ask, “Well, why wouldn’t I love those things too?” Sometimes they believe me. Sometimes they are flattered, or appreciative. But oftentimes, a lifelong Cincinnatian with a deep sense of loyalty for their beloved town will just shake their head and say, “I don’t know, though…you came from California…” and then immediately complain about Cincinnati weather and the sports teams. Cincinnatians love their city in a way that I find really beautiful. ...But then there’s Cincinnati sports. I have not seen anything in my time here that contains the pride, frustration, hope, and misery of a people quite like their relationship with sports. Inviting me, challenging me to root for Cincinnati sports teams was a crucible. It was as if they were saying to me, “You don’t get to love us if you’re not going to suffer alongside us.” And that makes sense to me. That’s always been my favorite part about Jesus: That he’s all in on us, and not just here for the good parts."