A Hug

Dear Friends,

There was a brief moment between two Little Leaguers that has gone viral. I don't know if you've seen it. It happened just about a month ago in Waco, Texas during a regional game leading up to the Little League World Series.

Pitcher Kaiden "Bubs" Shelton, from Pearland, Texas, threw a pitch that veered dangerously inside and thunnnnnk - it smacked right off the protective helmet of Tulsa, Oklahoma batter Isaiah "Zay" Jarvis, who dropped to the ground and clutched his head. It was scary, and Zay was down momentarily, but he eventually rose to his feet with the help of his coaches and trotted down to first base. But Bubs (I love these names, by the way), on the mound, was still reeling about the beanball he had just thrown. He was in tears.

That's when Zay did an extraordinary thing. He calmly walked over from first base to the pitcher's mound and embraced his opponent, reassuring him that he was okay. "It wasn't really a thought," Zay said later. "It was just kind of a natural reaction." Bubs was grateful for the unexpected gesture. "I could hardly breathe, honestly," he said. "He came over and hugged me and told me I got this. He was like: 'Take deep breaths and just think happy thoughts.'"

This hug is everywhere on the Internet apparently. I found it on YouTube when I plugged in "hug on the mound." It has gone viral as a stirring example of sportsmanship and kindness. It's the type of moment that reassures us that there is still humanity out there.

As I read this story, and watched the video, it reminded me yet again that we as Christians need to be constantly reaching out to others, hugging physically where appropriate, but in any event touching the lives of others in whatever ways we can with encouragement and welcome and grace and hope. We all need a little boost and inspiration and motivation from time to time to be our best selves, and you might be just the person to be that person for someone else.

One way we can do this is going to be upon us very soon, and that is for you to come to, and invite and include others to, our Tent Revival on Saturday, September 24, at 3:00. We need to refresh and renew our own spirits within the church for greater things to which God might be calling us. And people all around us, people who need God's love, people who need hope, may need to be refreshed and renewed as well. Let's invite them and include them and see what happens!

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane