Mascot for Jesus

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Group of People in Huddle in FieldHigh school memories are often bittersweet. We choose to forget the awkward moments, and we focus on the long-lasting friendships that made coming-of-age years bearable. Good or bad, high school years allowed us to dream about adulthood. Some dreams were crystal clear but for others, like me, barely visible.  


JohnMarshallI’m a John Marshall High School alumna. In the 70’s, this Los Angeles school underwent extensive renovation when an earthquake damaged its extraordinary architecture. Once restored, it became a famous backdrop for movies such as Grease and other film-industry favorites.   

John Marshall graduated famous celebrities like actor-film producer Leonardo DiCaprio, singer-songwriter Brad Paisely, and our classmate, professional football coach, Andy Reid.

Although I was a four-year drama student, acting was never a career consideration. In fact, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. At the time, my aspiration went as far as school mascot—a clownish looking barrister head and a gown. So, in my senior year I auditioned and became Johnny Barrister ready to cheer our football team to victory.

Thirty years later:

I attended our high school reunion with my husband. This was an unfamiliar part of my life for him, so I took him down memory lane.

At the reunion, we looked at epic photos and listened to classic artists like Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Chicago. Later that evening, the ballroom lights dimmed, and we watched a slideshow of memorable highlights. That’s when the picture came up on the screen. There stood a seventeen-year old girl with a stupid grin on her face holding a barrister’s head. We both chuckled and he made a comment, “Nothing’s changed. You’re still Johnny Barrister.”

At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant, but as I thought about it, he was right.

Like most Christians, I’m an encourager. I serve in my sanctified niche as a writer. I place myself on the sidelines of life and cheer my teammates (brothers and sisters in Christ) to pursue personal victory. I try to convey the same signature message—strength in Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we’re part of a team; we encourage others because our opponent has been defeated. (Click to Tweet)

We introduce people to our most valuable player, and Savior, Jesus. We provoke perseverance as we play out each offensive and defensive position. We participate confidently because we’re on the winning team. We have security because we know the final score. And, we celebrate the hope God embeds in the hearts we encourage.  

I guess I’ll always be a cheerleader, but this time I’m the mascot for Jesus!

Share your Thoughts:

Christians love to encourage others, but there are different ways to build someone up. As we practice encouragement, we find our sanctified niche. How do you inspire others? 

Have a blessed weekend.

Marisa Shadrick

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