The Triumph of the Broken

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Monday, August 9, 2010 at 4:27 PM

As I mentioned in an earlier devotional, I coach a YMCA baseball team. Now, I need to let you know that Y baseball is a little different than the city leagues. The Y baseball is not quite as good as city baseball. The kids that play at the Y could not always get to play in the city. Oh, some are pretty good, but many have never played before and are not the greatest. That’s okay, and really it is one of the things I like about it. With that knowledge in hand, that brings us up to last Saturday.

On my team is a little boy who has very little hearing, Blaine. His condition is hereditary. His father has the same hearing problem. As a matter of fact, with the help of modern medicine, they were both able to hear sounds for the first time at the same time. That must have been a special moment. Boyd tries hard and really is a pretty good hitter, but he cannot hear a thing I say most of the time. Before each at bat I have to stand in front of him to give him instructions. It is the only way I can know for sure that he hears what I say.

On my team is also a young boy who has just the slightest of palsy. His name is Tyler. You can only tell it when he tries to run real hard. If you didn’t know, you would thing he was not trying to run his hardest. Instead he is running as fast as his legs will allow him to. The effort is there, the body won’t always cooperate. He is a great young boy with a sweet heart and a joy to be around. But in athletics he will have to work harder than anyone else to be able to keep up.

On the opposing team last week there was a young boy of great courage. He stood at the plate with crippled legs and crutches under each arm. He would swing and do his best to make contact. When it was time to run, off he would go on his crutches. Out in the field he maneuvered himself in an amazing way in attempting to field the ball. I spoke to his dad and he said he tells his boy every day how impressed he is with his courage and drive. In watching his son just for the afternoon, I had to agree with him.

In the city league these guys wouldn’t have a chance, but at the Y, well, great things can happen to the broken. It was a great game; we got behind early but hung in there and made a charge at the end. With the game on the line, Tyler gets a hit and keeps the game going.

Then, with the pressure on, Blaine gets the game-winning hit (his second hit of the day!) and drives in the winning run who happens to be Tyler. I had to tell Tyler he was the game winning run, and I am not sure Boyd ever heard the cheers of the crowd. At the end of the game we awarded Boyd the game ball for his clutch hitting. I said some words of encouragement, but I doubt seriously that Boyd heard a word of it. By the proud look on his parents’ faces, they surely did.

Saturday was the day for the broken to win, for the unlikely hero to have his day. I floated off into the rest of my day; it could not get any better than this. That is what I love about Y ball and that, by the way, is what I love about God. With God the broken have a chance. In fact with God the broken can’t lose. As a matter of fact, God specializes in using the broken to do great things. God used Moses, a murderer and really not that good a speaker, to deliver his people. Paul, a former persecutor of the church and with his ‘thorn in the flesh’ in tow, becomes the greatest missionary the world is to know. Jacob, the trickster, wrestles with God, ends up with a limp, gets a name change, and becomes the father of a nation. The list could go on and on.

If you know God, then the list includes you. At one time, at one moment, you were broken, perhaps that day is today. Maybe you’ve gotten behind in life and a comeback seems unlikely. Oh, but remember, you serve a God of the unlikely that specializes in the triumph of the broken. Remember the game’s not over until the last broken soul reaches home base. There the God of the broken will be waiting for you, loving arms reaching out to welcome you home.

Scripture: Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Prayer: Lord, we thank you that you love us in spite of our brokenness, that you use us in spite of our imperfections. Help us to lean on you and to acknowledge that with you all things are possible. In the sweet name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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