At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves
learning-disabled children, the father of one of the
school's students delivered a speech that would never be
forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a
"Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay,
cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand
things as the children do. Where is God's plan reflected
in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. "I believe," the father answered,"that
when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity
to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the
way people treat that child."
Then, he told the following story:
Shay and I walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were
playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"
Shay's father knew that most boys would not want him on their team.
But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it
would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father
approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could
play.The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates.
Getting none,he took matters into his own hands and said,
"We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning.
I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat
in the ninth inning."
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs
but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning,
Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits
came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field,
grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the
stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded,the potential winning run
was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat. Would the
team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away
their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was
all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the
bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay
stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the
ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The
first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher
again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward
Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow
ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft
grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first
baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the
game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high
arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first. Run to first."
Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He
scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone
yelled, "Run to second, run to second! By the time Shay was
rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball.
He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag.
But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions
had been, so he threw the ball high and far over the third
baseman's head. Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead
of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shay reached
second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the
direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!" As Shay
rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay!
Run home!" Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was
cheered as the hero, for hitting a "grand slam" and winning
the game for the team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down
his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the
Divine Plan into this world."
And now, a footnote to the story. We all send thousands of
jokes through e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes
to sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice
about sharing. The crude, vulgar, and sometimes the obscene pass
freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of decency is
too often suppressed in school and the workplace. If you are
thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking
about which people on your address list aren't the "appropriate"
ones to receive this type of message.
The person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a
difference. We all have thousands of opportunities a day to help
realize God's plan. So many seemingly trivial interactions between
two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a spark of the Divine? Or do we pass up that
opportunity, and leave the world a bit colder in the process?
You have two choices now:
1 Ignore this.
2. Forward it to the people you care about.
You know the choice I made. Thank you for reading this....