As I posted a couple of days ago, our family lost a beloved person, my wife’s brother, James “Jimmy” Oquinn. Jimmy is a true man of God. His faith is deep and abiding. During his adult life he worked in many positions in his church, many of those positions were with the youth program. Jimmy’s wife, Cindy (yes we have two named Cindy in the family), we call her CJ. They have two adult children, Tori and her husband Zach and Andy and his wife Imam. Andy and Imam have two sons that Jimmy absolutely treasured, Aubrey and Dietrich.
Jimmy loved to play 42, I love that game too and enjoyed it all the more when Jimmy was my partner. He would bid crazy sometimes and that usually made me crazy. But, as crazy as his bid might be, he made that bid far more often than he would miss it.
The other game Jimmy loved is chess. I think he started playing chess before he learned 42. He was also even better at chess. In the roughly 45 years I knew Jimmy, I beat him at 42 and was able to do so to the point we were about evenly split. In all the games we played, if I EVER beat him at chess, I don’t remember it.
A few years ago, when I lost a member of the family or a close friend I began writing a poem and/or a song in their memory. These became my tribute to them and have assisted me through the early days of losing someone who was a dear friend. CJ pointed out to me in an email that we are more than family, we are also friends.
I wrote a poem for Jimmy. I took the game he loves so much and used it as a metaphor for life in the faith. I hope you enjoy, “The King’s Gambit.”
The King’s Gambit
The world today is all about me.
The needs of others can be hard to see.
When we use mirrors in windows place
We leave too many in shadows space.
Focus on self, robs others in need
Working to help will defeat much greed.
Breaking the rules just trying to win,
Like those who refuse to see their own sin.
The player comes in and sets up the board
Ready for battle with mind and not sword.
The players make moves by rules of the game.
Play fast with the rules and you’ll risk your good name.
White moves his king’s pawn forward two squares,
He then starts the clock and leans back in his chair.
Black moves a pawn, and in doing so mirrors,
A gambit offered makes all eyes glimmer.
Gambits give a pawn and thus will gain power,
Does one player shine while others cower?
To sacrifice one to gain something more,
The gambit will let your power roar.
The gambit can teach us that faith really matters.
And sacrifice shows us that love is the answer.
He worked to show people kindness each day.
Empathy’s the tool that will show is the way.
Give up a pawn to gain some power,
A sacrifice made, will light up the hour.
In chess each battle lives on the board
In life its love that strikes the right chord.
In giving us Jesus God forgave us our sin.
Divine blood woos us come start over again.
God’s greatest call and our deepest desire,
Should strive and reach for things much higher.
Chess players know of the gambit’s pure power,
With practice and study, our skills won’t sour.
To play the game can make one a factor.
Add study to skill and make a chess master.
Players of faith know that God’s before chess.
When we live without love we make life a mess.
Life’s biggest thing is to live in God’s love,
To gain our soul’s desire, life with God above.
The chess player did show he had love for his game,
And he knew of God’s love in Jesus’ name.
To have the second thing, he would quit the first.
The real King’s gambit can make our hearts burst.
The lands of earth he no longer roams
Well done dear chess player, and welcome home.
He saw his mom and dad again were alive,
Then he stepped forward and got, God’s high-five.
Rest in peace, faithful servant,
Copyright 2021, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved