Everyday Parables: A simple blessing on the bases
My ongoing achilles saga.
Though I wish my achilles were all healed and I could frolic freely on tennis courts, in the woods and at the diamond, no such luck. I still am hobbling about being passed by people who have had multiple hip replacements! This has continued to be a frustrating time for me...one that I'm trying to receive as a gift, but one for which I struggle to be grateful. And yet in the midst...
During the game a few weeks ago, after I had re-torn my achilles sprinting to first base, I wasn't sure I could continue to play my normal position, second base. I had a need. Naturally, the true need I had was to sit out so as to quit re-injuring my achilles. But in the moment, already being one player short and perhaps being too prideful to take myself out of the game, I asked my sister-in-law, Callie, if I could switch with her – I'd play first base and she could play second. First has a lot of catching/stretching, but not a lot of movement otherwise. She said, “sure” and bravely stepped into a position that she'd never played before.
In between plays she was asking a ton of questions to me, our pitcher and the shortstop:
“So do I need to tag someone on this base, or just touch the base?”
“Do I run out to be a relay for the outfield?”
“When do I cover 2nd and when does the shortstop cover second?”
“How far off the bag should I stand?” Etc. Etc.
I didn't think much of it at the time, but later was so impressed by her willingness to care for me in this way. She stepped into an unknown place where she could potentially look/feel incompetent. She stepped in with total willingness to learn on the go. She was unafraid to ask questions and acted and reacted accordingly. She found herself flat on her bottom when a large man charged second plate and she was tossed the ball for the out. She kept a joyful attitude in the midst of the new.
I know she wouldn't think it was much, but in retrospect, it was so huge to me. I could have continued to suffer more by playing at second, but somehow my ability to express my need, and to have my sweet sis-in-law switch with me made me feel loved and taken care of. Indeed, she was a gift in the midst of my struggling with this injury. I am learning more and more that I not an island. This darned injury gifts me with the ability to learn how to receive...and isn't that the gist of kingdom living?
For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith -
and this is not from yourselves,
it is a gift of God - not as a result of works,
so that no one can boast. ~Eph 2:8-9
Leonard Sweet once wrote, “My greatest disability is my inability to receive.” And, yes. I am experiencing that almost daily during this injury. From a neighbor who helped take my “poopy” cat litter to the dumpster, to my sister-in-law who stepped into a new position so that I could have one where I could take a little bit better care of myself, to my friend's 15 year old who voluntarily pulled away from his video game to endure an un-gambol like pace to help me carry my guitar and cooler to my car.
Lord, grant me the grace to receive...to let my heart be humbled by my need and the kindnesses of others. Bless those who, without much thought and yet with deep kindness, have cared for me in little ways. Continue to open my heart to trust your love and care and to be grateful.