#TellHisStory: How To Know For Sure That You’ll Make it Home

June 19, 2013 | 19 comments

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.

soccer ball



Photo credit


So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.

For details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here: https://jenniferdukeslee.com/tell-his-story/. Be sure to find someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.

Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me!


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by | June 19, 2013 | 19 comments


  1. achristmaschild

    what a great metaphor for the Gospel… thank you for sharing Jennifer! 🙂

  2. Shelly Miller

    Love how you take your everyday life and turn it into a parable that teaches of Christ. And you do it so eloquently.

  3. Sarah.Jo.Fairchild

    We learn so much from our children!! As a mama who just jumped from two to six overnight, I am learning more and more why Christ calls us to come to Him like a child…(Not to mention they’re a great source of material!!) Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  4. stultsmamaof4

    I love this analogy. And I love that He is our pinch-hitter. 🙂

  5. Dave Moore

    Beautiful! Made me remember the smell of the outfield grass, the leather glove, and the aroma of our Lord Jesus Christ!

  6. Lyli @ 3dLessons4Life

    This post makes me think of 4th grade recess. Since I have an artificial leg and walk with a serious limp, my teacher would kick for me. Mr. Coverson was quite a formidable figure, and the ball would go all the way to the fence. I would scoot around the bases and get a home run every time.

    Looking back now, I see how God was pursuing me even then… I am thankful that He steps to the plate for me. I would never be able to play successfully without Him.

    Great post. 🙂

    • Jillie

      This is lovely, Kyli. What a wonderful teacher you had, this “formidable” figure of a man. This man with a heart as big as his formidable self. Yes, God was pursuing you even then, in the guise of a teacher being “Jesus with skin on”! How wonderful!

  7. Lisa notes...

    So glad we get to run free because of our pinch-hitter. Such a beautiful metaphor for what Jesus did and continues to do for us. I’d have mighty sore toes by now. 🙂 Thanks for another poignant post, Jennifer.

  8. Deidra Riggs

    Wow. You see stuff, Jennifer. You see stuff, and it changes the world.

  9. Beth

    This lifted my spirits more than I could say today. Jennifer, you take every day life and paint such a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. Your words can many times take my breath away. So grateful for the gift God has give you.

  10. Marlys Lenters

    so glad that man was kind to your daughters…and more thankful that Jesus was infinitely kind to me

  11. Lisa @ four simply living

    This just reconfirms some thoughts in my head. I love your prose, how life mingles with His lesson, and then you pen it so eloquently.

  12. Deanne Moore

    This made me smile, fill with gratitude, and want to play kickball. 🙂

  13. Dolly@Soulstops

    What a great picture of what Christ did for us…Thanks, Jennifer 🙂

  14. Jillie

    This is a wonderful post, Jennifer. I’m so glad you saw the spiritual in a simple game of kickball, and shared it with us. I’m so thankful to know the same Pinch-Kicker!

  15. Nancy Ruegg

    I love the imagery of “running the bases” after Jesus has taken care of what I couldn’t do on my own. A baseball player needs to stay close to the base lines (is that what they’re called?!)–he can’t roam too far off course, or he’s out. So, I would ask Jesus, “Keep me on the base lines, Lord, within the boundaries of your plan!”

  16. Michelle Eichner

    I just love reading your analogies! Thanks for sharing your gift with us. The picture of running free really resonated today. Hugs to you!

  17. Kris Camealy (@KrisCamealy)

    Amazing. God uses you to tell such beautiful stories of His pinch-kicking glory. I’m so thankful he stepped up for me.



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