First, see The Green Mile. It speaks volumes aboutviolence, goodness, miracles, and courage.
Second, my series on changing yourself to change your lifecomes to a close with this simple observation: so often we focus on what’swrong with the world and how overwhelming the world’s problems appear. You willbe amazed at how much the world changes as you change.
Third, my new series (which starts next week) will beentitled “Question Yourself.” I do not mean to suggest that you should “doubtyourself.” I rather mean to suggest 10 simple questions that go to the heart ofour being. They will be questions suitable for meditation and for anyone whowants to look before they leap and think before they speak. I need this seriesas much as anyone else.
Finally, I pass along this story submitted by one of myreaders. Perhaps you’ve already seen it circulating around the Internet. Itserves as a true and beautiful conclusion to my series on personal change andtransformation and as a wonderful illustration of the final LifeTrek Provision inparticular: Change your Heart. Thanks for sending it in.
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters tolearning-disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entireschool career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush childdelivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. Afterextolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is theperfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But mychild cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot rememberfacts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by thefather’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query. “I believe,” the fatheranswered, “that when God brings a child like this into the world, theperfection that God seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
He thentold the following story about his son Shaya:
One afternoon Shaya and I walked past a park where some boysShaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let meplay?” I knew that my son was not at all athletic and that most boys would notwant him on their team. But I also knew that if my son was chosen to play, itwould give him a tremendous sense of belonging. I approached one of the boys inthe field and asked if Shaya 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 bysix runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our teamand we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.” I was ecstatic asShaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play shortcenter field.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored afew runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning,Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with thepotential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the teamactually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win thegame? Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat.
Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shayadidn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However,as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ballin softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitchcame in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came upto Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for thenext pitch.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softlytoward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung the bat andtogether they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easilyhave thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and thatwould have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on ahigh arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first. Run tofirst!” Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baselinewide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielderhad the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tagout Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what thepitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the thirdbaseman’s head.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second.” Shaya rantowards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the basestowards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him,turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.”
As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behindhim screaming, “Shaya run home!” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hita “grand slam” and won the game for his team. “That day,” said the fathersoftly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.