Psalm 119:25-38; Exodus 19:16-25; Colossians 1:15-23; Matthew 3:13-17
Last evening on the PBS evening news, there was an interview with a priest, a rabbi, and an imam about faith in these times. At the end of the interview, they were asked what can keep up our hope in these times. Humor, friendship, prayer, trust in God, empathizing, meeting needs, and recognizing the small blessings everyday were mentioned.
On the Today Show this morning on NBC, there was a report of the possibility of major league baseball resuming in a different way. Many people have missed sports. With the coming of spring, baseball is one sport missed by many no matter what level of play it is. In the spirit of a connection between baseball, humor, and God, I share with you the following poem:
E. Ethelbert Miller has given a splendid gift to anyone who loves poetry or baseball—or the poetry of baseball. In his new book, “If God Invented Baseball,” the DC literary icon writes lyrically of playing stickball in the South Bronx until it got too dark to see the ball (or it rolled down the sewer), of waiting for autographs outside Yankee Stadium, and of sitting in the stands praying for a rally (he loves the Nats, he writes in the preface, “with all the joy and heartbreak only a Cubs or Red Sox fan would understand.”). He touches his cap to the heroes—Robinson, Mantle, Paige, Koufax, Campanella—and to the catchers, knuckleballers, and relief pitchers who brought grace and beauty to the game. Woven throughout, like the stitches on a baseball, are themes of race and redemption, triumphs and disappointments, and the sheer celebration of life that is baseball.
IF GOD INVENTED BASEBALL
If God invented baseball
There would be no stealing
no balks, no wild pitches or intentional
walks. There would be no pitch-outs,
foul balls or errors. There would be
no one-hand catches or bean balls.
There would be no curves or sliders,
no rundowns, or warning tracks.
If God invented baseball there would
be no night games, no balls getting lost
in the sun. There would be no bunting
or swinging for the fences. There would
be no double plays or triple plays.
If God invented baseball
he would not rest on the seventh day.
Instead he would turn to us and say
“let’s play two.” He would let us bat
first while his angels danced
in the outfield.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher, City Point Press (citypointpress.com).
O God, thank you for the morning sun shining upon this day. Keep our eyes open to the small blessings that are all around us. Thank you for a sense of humor, friendships, and opportunities to show sympathy and help meet needs each and everyday. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.