Bottom of the 9th - Playing Catch
by Meredith Weide
One of my favorite things to watch is my son playing catch. Whether it is with a teammate, his brother, or his father, there is something soothing and refreshing about watching that simple exchange. Like a great conversation, the ball arcs back and forth in a calm but purposeful manner. The sound of the ball gently and crisply smacking the glove takes on a rhythm that is predictable and even comforting. The thwack, thwack, thwack of the impact becomes the accompaniment to the conversation that emerges and I sit back and smile at this wonderful phenomenon. This Father/Son ritual is often the sacred common ground where wisdom is imparted by both sides. The delivery of the ball becomes a subconscious reaction to what has been said. How real is that, to be able to read someoneâ€™s thoughts by the feel of the baseball in your glove? A little softer, a bit flatter, a smidge off target â€“ instant feedback and adjustment on the part of both sender and recipient. The act of playing catch transcends the whole scenario and no matter what is discussed or debated, no one seems to want to stop throwing the ball, even if words give way to silence. My favorite instances of this happen in the evening when the twilight finally makes the ball impossible to see, and yet, the exchange goes on, as if by instinct the ball nestles into the glove.
This makes me think of relationships in general. As parents and children there is a give and take that become a rhythm in our lives. Sometimes we are on target, and many times we are not, but always there are adjustments and movement toward getting that ball back into the safety of the glove. As children of God, there is that same hope. Perhaps when I pray, I should consider it more like â€œhaving a catchâ€ with God. Back and forth, until the rhythm is found, until the sun goes down, and still it goes on. Comfort in the sameness, solace in the conversation.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
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