The message here is that all of us have opportunity to give sacrificially to others, and we need to take the opportunity when it presents itself.
Dear friends and family,
This little story was sent to me by my oldest and closest friend, a man I have known from my childhood. I am sending it on to all of you for it means a lot to me. As most of you know, I have an adult daughter who "suffers" from Down’s Syndrome. My Jenny is severely handicapped and getting worse as time progresses. Yet, I assure you that I would not "fix" Jenny even if I had a magic wand to wave and make her "normal".
You see, my Jenny is an "angel unaware". She cannot commit a sin, as she does not have the mental capacity to do so. She is "perfect" just as she is. She is just the way God intended her to be. On my death bed, I will give thanks to God for her as she has taught me some of the great lessons of life as no one else could have.
What would you do? You make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by any who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he proffered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature 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 the natural order of things in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other 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’ll let me play?" Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We’re 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 in to bat in the ninth inning."
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and 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 and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat 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, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least 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 towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all of his team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Russell Brownworth on Dec 11, 2000
Or would you be more like the woman who was bitten by a rabid dog, and it looked like she was going to die from rabies. The doctor told her to put her final affairs in order. So the woman took pen and paper, and began writing furiously. In fact she wrote and wrote and wrote. Finally the doctor ...read more
Contributed by Bruce Howell on Dec 29, 2000
JACKIE ROBINSON was the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced hostile crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to jeer him. He ...read more
Contributed by Simon Rundell on Jan 19, 2001
The devout priest was caught in a flood one day, and he climbed onto the roof of his Vicarage and as the water started lapping up over the roof he prayed “Lord, deliver me from this flood”. The water continued to rise and a policeman in a rowing boat passed: “Can I help you ...read more
Contributed by James Wilson on Nov 23, 2000
Crystal Michelle, a 10th Grade in Bigelow, Arkansas isn’t buying it. She won’t settle for anything but extreme intimacy, here’s an excerpt from an essay she wrote. "Hey, My name is Crystal Michelle. I decided to wait for sex among other things a while back. I have pledged to ...read more
Contributed by Richard Jones on Nov 1, 2000
Many years ago, executives of the Time-Life publishing organization discovered that the company’s profit margin had shrunk to an alarmingly low level. Consequently, they began an intensive effort to try to cut costs. Efficiency experts suggested that substantial savings could be effected ...read more
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Oct 18, 2000
To personalize the interpretation and application of any scripture use the following acrostic: S-P-A-C-E-P-E-T-S (Sin to Confess - Promise to Claim - Attitude to Change - Command to Obey - Example to Follow - Person to Imitate - Error to Avoid - Truth t
Contributed by James Wilson on Nov 23, 2000
We should not abuse the family with our faith.