As Unto Him
By Steve Carter
With the regular baseball season over for the 12-year-olds, today’s outing featured the “cream of the crop.” One of my grandsons put up such good statistics, at all positions, (little bragging there) that he received invitations to play in these games.
The blistering temperatures waiting for the stalwart fans turned out to be of the record-setting kind. Stepping out of my truck in the parking lot caused me to stumble a little while pulling my water cooler with me. According to the thermometer on my dash, I headed into about 98-degree misery with no reason to doubt it.
Before I could reach the baseball diamond, I became a little “lightheaded.” This dizzy spell was brought to me courtesy of that day’s blistering heat and a recent concussion. About two weeks before the game, I wrecked my bicycle and landed, headfirst, on some good Mississippi asphalt. No serious or permanent damage. But thankfully, after watching me bounce off the road, a man pulled over to check, called for help, and stuck around until I became stable. But regardless of all that, my son and grandson expected me to be there, and it would have taken more than heat and concussion to keep me away!
After reaching the diamond, I set up to watch a little baseball. The opposing pitcher started the game with a fastball down the middle, and my grandson smacked it into the outfield for a leadoff double. The game turned out to be fast-paced, and the temperature rose just as quickly.
Despite my steady intake of water and staying in the shade, the lightheaded feeling soon returned, and I started to think about going to my truck and cooling off. Not wanting to miss any of the game, I held off taking a break while chatting with a lady sitting off to my right and a man slightly behind me. Conversation soon played out and I noticed them getting a little red in the face! The ball players were wilting and moving slower by the minute, as the heat wore them down as well. No doubt about it, we were getting into some dangerous temperatures!
Finally made it through the first game of the “double header” and both teams headed for their dugouts and some shade. While I walked around trying to feel better, I noticed the lady sitting to my right struggling to pull up from her chair, before walking toward the concession stand. The man sitting behind me continued to look at his phone and drink water while I paced.
About ten minutes into the break, I slumped back into my chair, just as movement off to my left caught my eye. I looked around and saw my son running by. I started getting up while asking, what’s going on? Making no effort to move, the guy behind me said, “I think somebody fell.” Never having been the type to idly stand by and expect “someone else” to handle problems, I started chasing my son around the building.
I soon rounded the corner to find the lady who had been sitting next to me, lying flat on her back, apparently passed out. A nurse from the crowd, applied ice to the victim while my son (a very experienced sports trainer) and I checked for blood or broken bones.
After a few minutes, she regained consciousness and had been propped up against a wall. With most of her color regained, I made sure she had plenty to drink, before hanging around a while to make sure she didn’t fall over again. We just chatted about the game and how strange it had been trying to regain consciousness. She thanked me to the point I became a little embarrassed about it and told her “You would have done it for me.”
Small acts of kindness like this, come naturally to me. I’ve always been quick to lend a hand, and I thank God for putting that desire in me. Many times, I have been plastered to the pavement after crashing my bicycle, or in need of help due to the inherent danger of living in a fallen world. I know how it feels to be ignored after a quick dismissive glance from people who apparently didn’t want to get involved in my problem. Less often, I experienced the wonderfully thankful feeling when people are front and center for me by dragging me and my bicycle out of the road or simply being there to help me through a tough day.
A scripture that’s especially near and dear to me comes to mind whenever I think about “letting someone else take care of it.” Matthew, the former tax collector, records how Jesus views those in need and how he would have us react to their problem. In the Gospel of Matthew 25: 35-40, Jesus makes it very simple to understand. “Do kind stuff to stranger and friend alike, just like you were doing it for me.”
Here are some questions worth considering the next time we are trying to decide if we want to get involved with something outside our “comfort zone”. What would we do if Jesus were bleeding on the road? Or maybe flat on his back passed out by the concession stand? Have a tough day Jesus? How can I help? Want to talk awhile?
Lend a hand, buy a meal, speak kindness to the downhearted. Go out of your way to ease someone’s burden. In your mind, put Jesus in the place of whoever can use your help. It will make your decision a lot easier.
Be like Jesus.
Steve Carter is entering his 5th decade of Christian ministry. Steve has peddled across the continental United States twice. Mr. Carter’s email is: Msroadkill@bellsouth.net
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