A Father's Love
Updated: Aug 12
There was once a young boy playing a baseball game. He loved the game. He played it whenever possible and wherever, dirt lots, church lawns, and in back yards. He would spend hours bouncing a ball against the wall practicing his fielding. He was known to sleep with his glove. It was his life.
He joined a local Little League team and loved to practice. He drank every moment on the field. He was an intense competitor but always loved the game.
One hot summer day, his team was playing a championship game. It was a close game filled with screaming parents. There was a lot of emotion in the dugouts. Life could not be better for this boy.
It was late in the game, and he was up to bat. The thrill and importance of the moment were heavenly. The pitcher was throwing heat that day, but he managed a sharp hit to the right-center. The boy ran fast and covered the ground quickly. There was a chance he would get a double. The fielder got the ball but bobbled it. The boy ran and slid Pete Rose's headfirst into second base. A close play, but he was safe. The crowd and his teammates cheered loudly.
The next batter was a good hitter, and the boy imagined himself a hero by scoring the potential winning run. He imagined being mobbed by the coaches and his teammates after crossing home plate safely on a hit. It was a perfect scenario.
The pitcher threw the first pitch for a strike, and the field umpire warned the boy that he left the base too soon. The boy acknowledged his mistake, but he was so excited to dwell on it. The second pitch was tossed, and the batter hit a ball in the hole between shortstop and second. The boy was in high gear and focussed on reaching home plate. The crowd cheered when suddenly everything stopped. Time stopped. As the boy raced around third, he noticed the field umpire had his hands in the air and yelled, "dead ball, the runner is out!" The boy left the base too soon, and he was out by league rules.
The cheers turned to sneers and harsh words from parents. The boy wanted to die. He made the long walk into the dugout, hearing harsh criticism from parents, coaches, and team members. The other team cheered with excitement. The boy made the long walk into the dugout and sat alone, drowning is a sea of criticism and disappointment. The wave of harsh words crashed against his pierced heart.
He was all alone.
It seemed like an eternity when he felt an arm wrap around his shoulders, and someone sat next to him. The boy didn't look up; he was broken. He finally looked to see who had come to be by his side, and to his surprise, it was his father. His father sat on the hood of his car far out in the left field as he preferred to keep a distance.
The boy was surprised because his father always kept his distance. He never left his place near the left field. But this time he came because his son needed him.
His father never said a word but sat with his arm around his son. The crowd became silent.
I will never forget the day my dad left his place near the left field. My dad never scolded me for doing something I knew better not to do. He came and sat with me, the worst moment of my life unleashing my father's love.
My father's actions told the crowd, "I don't care what you think of my son, I came down here because he needed me in one of the worst moments of his life. He's my son, I won't let him do this alone."
You see, another father saw his children broken from missteps in life. The voices of shame and guilt echoed in our minds threatening to destroy us. He left His place in Heaven because He knew we needed Him. It was the only time He did that because He knew it was when we needed Him most. He didn't come with judgment but in love.
Maybe you think that you have messed up so badly that there's no hope. I'm here to tell you that there is a Father who always speaks well of you and is willing to meet you in the messy spaces of your life.
It is in the messy spaces of our life that unleashes the overwhelming love of our Heavenly Father.