Taking One for the Team

It was the final inning.  Tie game. Bases loaded with a full count and two outs.

How would you feel if your oldest child were at bat?  Nervous? Confident? Are your eyes closed, or are you screaming with excitement?  Gloria and I were a little bit of all those.  We watched Brittani's every swing with a little bit of anxiousness and a lot of pride.  Then she took the final ball. Now, we all know what it means to take one for the team.  If Brittani did not know before, she does now.  The final pitch of the game hit her in the back and she painfully and, don't tell her I told you, tearfully walked to First Base.  Whew!  Game over.  Way to go, Britt!  We'll take a win any way we can get it.

That was that game; the next day brought another.  Details change slightly depending on who she is telling the story to.  The version you get might be different than what the cute guy in the ER heard.  However it happened Brittani fell and hurt her ankle pretty bad..  She did not get to play at all.  We took her to the ER since she has had issues with this ankle several times before.  Longer story short, she wore a boot for over a month; she got it off right before she went to camp a couple of weeks ago.  It was more a precautionary measure than anything, especially considering her prior bouts with ankle sprains.  She is fine and laughs about the experience.

There was something about that night I remember well.  Brittani had two friends join her for that game she never played.  They wanted to watch Britt play.  Of course, they did not get to and I was more than ready to drive them home as soon as we got Britt situated in the ER.  They, however, were not interested in going home; they stayed with Britt until late that night.  These girls laughed, texted, prank called and enjoyed the time with each other.  It was a great reminder for me.

Ministry can be busy.  Life can be busy.  We should not, however, get so busy that we cannot be there for those people who might need us.  Perhaps that means a few late nights in the ER, or maybe just a phone call every other day.  Emails, visits and lunch plans can all be ways we can spend life together.  And those moments might be exactly what another needs the most.  I have no good excuse when I wait too long to call my parents or grandparents, other than than the lousy busy excuse.  My friends who are hurting and mourning should be able to depend on me, and I hope that they do.  Life can be as painful as a softball to the back or a fractured ankle.  Of course, it can be much worse, too.

Brittani's friends were happy to be there in the cold ER.  That is just another observation to be thankful for.  I want friends like that in my life.  More importantly, I want to be that kind of friend.  How many of us are willing to help if it is convenient to do so?  What if an email or Facebook shout out is not enough?  What about when helping messes up our plans?  Friends, let's try to be there for each other, all the while thanking God for the people we have to share life with.

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