Monday, September 13, 2010

Heroes and Miracles

Sitting in the stands spectating at a Miracle League baseball game Saturday morning , Allie and I took a deep breath. Having just handed Reid off to his 1:1 buddy, we knew we'd have 2 innings of relatively uninterrupted talk time. (Quality time comes in various zones.)

At a whisper she confided, "guess what that lady just said to me?"

"Is that your brother out there? Then you are a real hero."

To which she politely replied and wisely corrected, "the real heroes are the ones who sign up and show up every week to make this possible. They choose to be here. We have to do it!"

True. The miracle of this local phenomenon is the dedication, enthusiasm, and sheer volume of volunteers who create a slice of heaven on earth.

Every Saturday 12 teams of special needs kids aged 5-18 of all abilities come bedecked in uniforms ready to play ball with whatever modifications they need. An amazing announcer, Alan Moore, treats each one as an MVP coming up to bat replete with nicknames and stats from the previous season. Whether they bat from a wheelchair, standing or hand over hand, every one has a buddy and everyone gets a hit.

Reid's first time at bat, he connected with a solid hit which Mr. Moore proclaimed "a home run!" With requisite prompting, Reid ran all four bases and enjoyed the applause from the stands. Well, can I tell you, every single time since, he rounds that diamond at full tilt in a beeline back to his seat in the dugout. Whether he's fouled, bunted or slugged it, the precedent has been set. Hit = homerun in his locked tight mind. One time he passed a couple other runners in the process. No worries, no tantrums; every game ends in a tie.

Coaches range from off-duty therapists to high school age siblings. The one on one buddies come out of the woodwork of the community at large to don a flourescent t-shirt and help. Every week I see another familiar face and ask how they learned about it. Parents cheer from the stands or visit like comrades in arms; brothers and sisters are proud; players grin ear to ear.

For that one hour a week, I feel like everything is really going to turn out fine. It is miraculous!

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. Psalm 77:13-15

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:39-41