It’s been an uncommonly rough year for me as I’ve struggled with and through a lot of long-held notions that, it turns out, were all of my own making. I’ve learned a lot about grace this year, though I know I’m only scratching the surface of what I have yet to learn.
In the past, I would have looked unfavorably at the moms and dads who were constantly playing around with their cell phones during their kids’ game. I would have assumed that they were chatting with a friend, or playing Angry Birds, rather than watching their son or daughter play. In fact, I would have been so busy minding what they were doing, that I would not have seen my own prideful attitude, and I would probably have missed some of the action on the field myself as I concentrated on watching them. What hypocrisy! (Matthew 7: 1-5 would hit the nail on the head in this situation.)
Here’s the lesson that I learned while sitting in the bleachers.
Will’s very first game this year, in fact his very first game ever, was on a beautiful Saturday in early March. Copper works Saturdays, and it is very difficult for him to schedule time off on Saturday. He asked that I keep him posted as the game was played. I used my phone to send a couple of pictures as Will and the team warmed up. I sent him the score at the top and bottom of every inning. I sent the play-by-play as best I could.
Then it was Will’s turn in the batting rotation.
I texted each pitch. Copper said that his heart was pumping just as though he were at the game! Our son has never played ball before, and he was, by his own admission, the weakest player on the team. His hope for the day was to not strike out every time he came to bat. Knowing this, I was texting. “He looks nervous.” “Strike one.”.
I don’t remember now, what the count was, but I do remember quite well the sound of his bat when it hit that pitch and sent it sailing into right field! I cheered, and I watched, but my fingers were flying as I texted my husband, “base hit”.
I’ve continued my practice of texting my husband during Will’s games. Copper has missed quite a few games and has arrived for the final innings of many more. My texting him has allowed him to “be there” even though he’s not able to be in the bleachers cheering with me.
I certainly do not know the other guy, or gal’s, story. Maybe they are just frivolously messing around on their phones instead of watching the game. It’s really not something I should even be concerned with. And maybe, just maybe, they’re giving someone, who wishes they were at the game themselves, a play by play description of the game.
Maybe they’re even texting Dad a picture of the game ball!
*Note – Will’s team has advanced to the final round of the playoff tournament and are playing what may well be their final game of the season tonight. Go, Cardinals!