When I was in school I hated sports. HATED them. I wasn't ever very good at any of them, and I was afraid of the ball. Many sports require a ball, so this was a problem for me. In the third grade we were all required to be on the basketball team. When I found out that at the end of the season we would take a road trip to Columbia, MO and play another team...I cried. I'm pretty sure I cried all the way home. And it was a half hour drive.
It didn't help that I went to a small church school. My P.E. class was everyone from sixth through twelfth grade. Than meant that teeny tiny twelve year old me frequently had to play dodge ball with the ginourmous sixteen year old boys. They threw hard.
One day we went to a baseball diamond to play softball. The worst. A nightmare for me. I was really scared of the ball in softball. They throw it at you! Right at your face. And you either hit it with the tiny pole you're holding or it hits you. Even underhanded pitches scared me. My usual P.E. teacher (Stacy Schromm, a teaching legend who deserves her own sappy post) always made me suck it up and try. As she should have. I needed to learn to do hard things. But this day we had a substitute.
Enter David "Buck" Hudson. One of the pastors from my church.
I don't remember if I was crying before I even went to bat, or if he could just tell I was scared. Or maybe I swung and swung and never hit it. That might have been it. Either way, Buck stepped in and saved my day.
"I'll bat for you, and then you run to first base."
Such relief. And then, he not only batted for me, he hit a home run for me! Even the big boys who crushed me in dodge ball couldn't always hit a home run like that. It was epic. I felt like I had hit the home run, but all I had to do was run the bases.
Some days we need to push ourselves. Do the hard thing. Learn the lesson. Other days, we need someone else to come along and hit the home run so all we have to do is run the bases.