There's just something about baseball that I love. You start from home with the intention of rounding the bases. To do so means you must face everything the opposition throws at you. Curve balls, fast balls, sliders. They all come flying as you attempt to bat that ball as far away from you as possible. When you do, your teammates cheer as you venture away from home and run out to make your mark. All the while, the other team still attempts to put you out of the game. Your goal? To make it back home safely, where your teammates run to greet you.
I'm not going to say sports are important to my family, but two years ago, my Dad asked my Mom to consult the baseball schedule before making an appointment for her surgery. A few years before that, they drove 21 hours in one day to watch my nephew Kameron play in Kansas City. And this week, when I realized Kameron had a baseball game, I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner, simplified the breakfast menu I had scheduled for the next morning, and headed to the ball field.
The only thing about the above paragraph that may have surprised you were the words, ‘breakfast menu.’ I don’t usually plan breakfast, however I had volunteered to host the Bible Characters and wanted to prepare dishes that went beyond my usual fruit/cereal/scrambled eggs rotation.
Who are the Bible Characters? Just a group of friends and relatives once brought together by a common neighborhood, church, or school. We share a love of God’s Word and a daily devotion to Him. We reminisce, but do not live in the past, support one another through difficulties, and prayerfully plan for our futures. The name of the group came about during a visit with Mrs. Patti Waguespack following the death of her daughter. She introduced us to her sisters as her Bible friends. We joked about being people from the Bible who occasionally visited Mrs. Patti, then returned to the Bible when the coffee pot emptied. Soon, Bible Characters was informally adopted as our name.
This week’s gathering was particularly important to me because it was the first time we met since Mrs. Patti’s death. I began to prepare for our meeting by throwing a pat of butter in the pan so I could scramble a few eggs, and thought of my recently deceased friend. Mrs. Patti once entered her daughter Lisa’s home for a meeting and asked Lisa if she had ‘good butter.’ She expressed her distaste for margarine and shared, “I usually put a stick of good butter in my purse when I’m going somewhere because you never know if they are going to try to serve you margarine.”
It was strange to have friends sit around my table, knowing we would not be saving a seat for Mrs. Patti. I knew we would pray, but Mrs. Patti would not be there to suddenly ask, in the middle of prayer, “who are we praying for?” No one ever had to interrupt Mrs. Patti with such a question. We always knew who she was praying for. Everyone. Every person or people group she could think of and that gave me insight into her private prayer life. It was not a three point sermon she shared on prayer, but her example that both touched and taught me. And as was fitting, we ended our prayer time with the words she always used to end hers as we prayed for God to help those “most in need of Thy mercy.”
As I started the dishwasher after they left, I summarized my morning. I couldn’t offer my friends yogurt because someone had eaten all of it and I had time to either fix my hair and makeup or head to the store. I served scrambled eggs and grits rather than researching a recipe from pinterest because I had spent an evening at the ball park with my family. But I did use good butter, and I know Mrs. Patti would have approved of all of my choices.
I’m honored to have been on Mrs. Patti’s team, to have prayerfully supported her and to have received the blessing of her prayers and fellowship. It makes me smile to think that as she entered her Heavenly home this past Good Friday she was met by teammates who had gone before her.Ronny may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org