baseball, a beggar and the body

I was still in Georgia, walking back to the car in a joy filled mood after a winning game and the traditional Friday night firework show to cap it all off. We walked slow, letting the crowd file out as to enjoy the weather of a summer’s day end; stalling in the parking lot as we shot the breeze.

That’s when he approached us.

He introduced himself, explaining his situation and talking about his life in past and present form. It was a soft spoken and hesitant interaction with his eyes occasionally glancing down at the dirty tire-plowed field beneath his feet now labeled a parking lot. But his shoulders stood broad while tears filled his eyes as he continued his story and humbly allowed the words we all hate to say escape his lips.

“I just need some help.”

And it was the most genuine sentence I’d ever heard.

We didn’t have much to offer by the world’s standards but I held his hand after we prayed for him, wanting to speak out what my Father had used him to speak in.

I wanted to thank him for being the most pure picture of the body of Christ I had ever witnessed.

Because in that moment the Lord gave me just a bit more clarity:

If this man hadn’t asked for help, we could not have helped, even if we had wanted to. We would have been blind to his weakness and any strength we had would have gone unused.

Because the body is a beautiful dance, a stunning murmuration and a flow that passes between all walls.

When others fall it allows others to stand. When one is weak it allows another to be strong; to step forward and offer a hand, a prayer, even a dollar.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life and we ought to lay down our life for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need and has not pity….”

Freely we have received; so freely give.

It’s an overused and under practiced phrase that gets shrugged off and easily forgotten as we walk the streets of this earth.

It’s hushed when we in turn need help ourselves.

Because asking for help is a sign of weakness in our society today.

But what if it wasn’t created to be? What if in fact we were created to be dependent on one another; dependent on the Owner and Creator of the entire world who just so happened to create a body that acted as His vessel.

Because maybe asking for help is worship. Maybe asking for help is in fact bringing Kingdom in a way that seems odd and out of place.

But when you receive; you give. When you give; you receive.

And in the deepest part of my heart I can’t help but believe that our simple actions one night in a run down parking lot after a Braves game didn’t just end with one man walking away.

Because His love is more powerful than that.

I believe that it’s still walking around the city; moving and flowing between all sorts of people. I believe that His love went with him. I believe that he remembered the bit of help he received and then passed it on the next time someone humbled themselves before him.

“let us not love in words and tongue, but in action and in truth”

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