You’re watching a movie about a baseball team. They’re the small town underdogs. They’re in a new arena. They’re nervous. They’re making errors, dropping the ball, the fans are booing, they just can’t get in the groove…but then it happens.
Someone in the stands gets up.
They start to clap, quiet and slow, at first. But little by little they continue, louder and louder.
And then, someone else joins in. And then another, and another and...
Down on the field the pitcher lifts his eyes from out of the dirt. He hears the clap instead of the jeer. He wipes the sweat, and a tear, from his brow and lays a fast ball straight across the plate.
“STRIKE THREE” the umpire yells.
The crowd stands to their feet, their hands in the air, as one voice, they cheer.
The pitcher slaps his glove. His eyes focus. The music starts. The team hunkers. They step into the zone and begin to play as one.
Yesterday, I witnessed that.
Didn’t expect it when we left for church
We sat near the back, in our usual place. After the hymns were sung, the pastor walked to his place up front.
He talked about a book he’d just read. “It was a real page turner,” he said.
He’d picked it up one morning, and was so compelled to know what happened next; he read and read, until he turned the last page that evening.
He said it was scripturally sound, carried a message and made you feel like you were in the story.
He rambled on a little more saying things every author wishes he could hear about something he’d written.
And then it happened.
He held up the book, it was familiar, real familiar, and asked me to stand. “Whatever, the price of, The Voice—” he said— “you should figure in a box of tissues—because you’re going to need it"
I stood, glanced at the congregation looking at me, felt my face turn red, nodded to the preacher and sat back down.
To this moment, I’m not sure why, but first one, then another, then a whole church full of folks started clapping.
I didn’t expect that, not any of it. But, the timing was perfect.
Just when it appears no one hears. When jumping-in with both feet doesn’t even seem to make a ripple.
In a moment when giving it all, isn’t enough; but dropping the ball, making errors and strike outs there’s plenty…
Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone stands and starts to clap.
Someone pats you on the back, sends you a card, gives you a call...asks you to stand.
It makes a difference, and it’s huge.
You’ll never know how much so, until the day you walk the streets of gold and someone grabs your hand, smiles and says, “You don’t know me, but I’m here today, because of your kindness way back when…Thank you.”
Weary not in well doing, for in due season you shall reap, if you faint not Galations 6:9
Humble thanks to you dear friend, your encouragement has blessed time and again.
To you, wise Pastor, your timing was God led.
And especially to You, Lord Jesus, to You I bow.