You can learn a lot about life and faith at home plate of a small-town ball diamond on a warm June night in Iowa.
It was just a game of kickball — a game that had spontaneously arisen. It was just after we were clearing the picnic tables, and just before the town street lights flickered on.
Our girls wanted to play.
So did their father.
I scraped plates into the garbage can, and after the girls scrambled toward the field, I found a seat in the dugout. Already, a dozen kids — and a few of their dads — had drawn numbers for sides.
The girls were pumped. They were both on their dad’s team. They wore smiles, wide as a greening Iowa farm field all aglow under a golden sunset. Trouble was, neither of the girls had worn the right footwear for a game of kickball. They were wearing flip flops. How would they kick the ball without hurting their little toes?
I could see the girls whispering, considering their options behind home plate. Maybe they could curl their toes for the kick and brace for a bit of the pain, which would surely come. Or perhaps they could kick the ball with the side of a foot. Or maybe they’d just have to walk away from the game entirely.
That’s when a young man on the team said he’d kick on their behalf. They wouldn’t have to do what they wouldn’t be able to do on their own. He would substitute for them, saving them the pain. He would be their pinch-kicker.
And they could still run the bases, all the way home.
I watched it all unfold from my seat in the dugout. And through the chain-link fence, I could see it clear as day, how God did the same for us:
We came unprepared, and no matter what options we could have considered, there was really no good option at all. Except for Christ.
Without a pinch-hitter, we’d never get to run free.
Let’s face it: We’d never even get to play.
But Christ stepped up to the plate, stepped in on our behalf. And because of the greatest substitutionary act known to humankind, we can run. And can you feel it now? How that wind whips through your hair as you round the bases, as the moon rises up, up, up over your small self?
And you know, it’s the only way you ever could get there, the only way you could make it all the way home.
And I believe in you, how you’re gonna make it all the way home.
So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
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Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me!
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