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 asother 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 his father had 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 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
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
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 toward second base as the
runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward 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
Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as the hero,
for hitting a "grand slam" and winning the game for his 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."
What choice have you made to make the world a better place?