Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baseball and Common Grace

Saturdays on the baseball field
And me afraid of the ball
Just another kid on camera day
When the angels still played in L.A.
I was smiling in living black and white.
Baseball cards and bubblebum
“I think there’s a hole in my glove.”
3-and-2, life and death
Swinging with eyes closed, holding my breath
I was dying on my way to the bench.
But none of it mattered after the game
When my father would find me and call out my name.
A soft drink, a snow cone, a candy bar,
A limousine ride in the family car.
He loved me…no matter how I played.
None of it mattered after the game
When my father would find me and call out my name.
Dreaming of glory the next time out
My father showed me what love was about.
He loved me…no matter how I played.
-Bob Bennett, A Song About Baseball

“That (God) pays any attention to us is entirely the result of his grace.”
- John Calvin, Isaiah III:474

“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
- Matthew 5:45b

“…do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
- Romans 2:4

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

I’m writing most of this note from our daughter and son-in-law’s home in Nampa, Idaho. We left after service on Sunday and drove over to spend a couple of days with them. To our surprise and delight the COR family graciously sent us on our way with a gift basket and gift cards for our trip (Thank you for your kindness! We marveled at the mercy of God shown us through our COR family). While we’ve been here we had a day of incredibly beautiful weather on Monday. We went together to the Discovery Center (a fun science lab) in the morning, had a late lunch, and then went to Jackson’s (my grandson) baseball game on Monday evening, and then came back to their home for an incredible meal of rotisserie pork, corn on the cob, green salad and baked potatoes. As I was sitting and watching the game I was looking around at the other parents and grandparents and overhearing the chit-chat of family conversations. I could smell the combination of fresh mown grass, sage and juniper, and I could feel the radiant warmth of the sunshine as I relaxed in a lawn chair. I swung my granddaughter around between innings. It seemed as if everything was right in the world. I found myself thanking God for juniper and sage and sunshine and baseball and rotisserie pork and corn on the cob and family. I thought about the many times events like this had come and gone without my sense of the grace and kindness of God. The question is often asked, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’, when the more appropriate question should be asked, ‘Why do good things happen to bad people?’ Yesterday, at an Idaho ball field there was great grace, not in a special grace or salvific manner, but grace nonetheless in the kindness of God being shown to undeserving sinners. I’m finding myself praying that God would give me eyes to see grace in the ordinary. For me to have sat in the sunshine at a Boise ball field, innumerable and purposeful actions of a gracious God had to take place. Everything from sustaining the sun and the earth by the Word of His mouth, to photosynthesis and chlorophyll in the lawn, to the pungent fragrance of juniper, to the game being played by rules that everyone deemed equitable. Grace was evident. My grandson played well and they won their game. It was icing on the cake. We came back home to a wonderful meal and sat and talked and laughed and remembered God’s grace and kindness. Thank you Lord, for common grace, that really isn’t common at all.

Grateful for Uncommonly Common Grace,


1 comment:

Kim said...

Thank you, Dan.

There is a lot of common grace in my life. A lot of love from sources that don't seem obvious...

You are so right, common grace can seem not so common, sometimes.

Thanks for the reminder.