Oct 5, 2004

Jessica sent me this beautiful story

I've head this story before, but it still brought tears to my eyes
and the Spirit to my heart.

This (Charity, or the pure love of Christ) is what life is truly about.
People always say how mean kids can be, never how nice they can be.

This story will either make you cry, give you cold chills or just
leave you cold, but it puts life into perspective!

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 that attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a
question. "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son
Shay cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand
things as other 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 the boys would not want him on
their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed
to play it would give him 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 his

"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."

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