Bottom of the 9th, #1 - Looking for the Sign

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Bottom of the 9th - Looking for the Sign

Looking for the Sign

by Meredith Weide

   I like codes. Things that need to be pondered and conjured and figured and solved. The idea of posing and cracking a riddle that involves twists and turns ignites something in my brain that celebrates finding an answer. Maybe this is genetic. My mother was an ink-pen-wielding crossword puzzler, and my father farmed by the mysteries of the stars and moon cycles. Deciphering code reminds me there is an order to thought, a pattern to nature, an underlying mystery that is solvable if I just pay attention. Ahhh, the hardest part of a riddle, paying attention to what is most important while fitting in the lesser clues. 

   The parables of Jesus are also codes to be deciphered. These stories that captured (and capture) the attention of His listeners are meant to teach through everyday occurrences, right under the noses of the religious and political leaders. Really good parables, like poetry or music, can conjure memories and understanding just by hearing the titles: The Parable of ... the Mustard Seed, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep ... each give you a subject and right away, you know the story and have an interpretation that gives you understanding.

   What about the codes in baseball? Imagine a third base coach with runners on first and second. Visualize the dugout when there are two outs, two balls, and two strikes. The catcher and pitcher exchange signals on every pitch. Runners and fielders send subtle messages with every motion and eye movement. There are signals and codes and traditions that abound around the diamond – messages being conveyed in secret, right under the noses of the opponent! It may be a leap of faith to consider the dance moves occurring down the third base line a parable or a code, beyond telling the batter and runners what is expected of them. There is a considerable amount of extraneous information to be distilled. However, knowing all that a code is supposed to convey, let’s consider every time coach touches his heart a reminder to us all that he is pointing to the heart of the matter. This game our sons play, that brings us together as families is at its heart a parable. Many accepting that sometimes life is not fair. Many acquiescing to the judgement of an umpire. Many working together for the good of the whole. Many lifting up one another. Many showing the love of Jesus while in the heat of sport.

   Living for Christ has its own set of codes. Our actions and words convey a message that is interpreted. As decipherers, the bigger task is to pay attention to what is most important in the midst of lesser clues.

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 

Matthew 10:26

Looking for the Sign