There is something about the game of baseball, spring, and opening day that melts the troubles of the world away. At least, this seems to have always been the case…in a world that’s no stranger to troubled times. Watching the biggest non-nuclear bomb dropped on Holy Thursday, as the world watches a crazy man in North Korea on Good Friday with the Democrats still hopelessly stuck on the Russians and Hillary, in total denial (and rebellion) of the Trump ascension; I thought back on a radio interview I happened to tune into with some baseball historian. I was instantly riveted by what seemed more like the reverent praise of an art or religion, than talk of a simple sport. But, it was a beautiful sunny Wednesday in New York…and the Yankees Home Opener. Could there be anything more American than baseball in spring, on opening day, in Yankee Stadium? A most welcome escape indeed…
But it’s also the weekend of another great opening day; Easter Sunday. The day the Greatest Love of all made the Greatest Escape of all. If life really were a baseball game, then Good Friday would have been the “greatest sacrifice fly” or “sacrifice bunt” laid down for the team of mankind, setting up today’s game-winning grand-slam. What is it about sports, life and heroes? There will never be another Babe Ruth…prophetically pointing to the bleacher seats where he would miraculously deliver the major league fast ball from the end of his bat…for the sick boy watching wide-eyed on TV from his hospital bed a lifetime ago. But every boy and every player wants to be Babe Ruth. And it is this very want that pushes us away…to the escape David Warren so eloquently describes above.
Every wanting Jew in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday thought Jesus was their Babe Ruth. He was there especially for them, with the bases loaded, bottom of the ninth…to knock the Romans out of the Park. Or so they thought…He cried a tear, not only because they did not understand the game…they did not know the real score…they did not realize or appreciate the transcendental swing of his miraculous at bat. While they were looking for him to clear the bases, He cleared all of life itself to knock death out of the Park!
By the way, the next time you’re at the Park, take a look around and you will see that nothing’s changed. They are the same exact fans today…missing (in their escape) the very same miracle. There are two loves; love of the game (escape)…and the Love of life (Truth). Any of us, with enough talent, hard work, and love of the game, can hit a ninety-five-mile-an-hour fast ball out of the park. But there was only One who had the talent and the power to knock the Romans out of the Park…and the Greatest Love of all chose to make Himself the sacrificial lamb instead.
THINK AND PRAY ABOUT MY PASSION AND DEATH. Why? Because thinking about Our Lord’s torture, agony and excruciating death forces us to confront Him as a Person, True God AND True Man. Legal systems don’t sob until their capillaries burst. Philosophies don’t suffer the agony of unrequited love. Imaginary friends don’t lay down their lives. Bureaucracies don’t fight asphyxiation by pushing themselves up on their impaled feet…Why? Because love. Love, love, love. Infinite, condescending, total, complete love. ~ Ann Barnhardt