Day 5 of 2017 - No Greater Love

I read a story today about a young woman who was playing in a college championship softball game.  The opposing team was ahead two runs.  She walked up to the plate with 2 outs and 2 teammates on base.  They needed a home run to win the game, but they would have settled with just getting her on base.  Her coach was nervous though, because this hitter was no Babe Ruth!  She not only had zero home runs this season, but as a Junior she had zero home-runs in her entire college career. 

The first pitch whirled past the batter and left her standing still.  The coach’s nervousness now turned into dread.  The second pitch whirled toward the batter again, but this time, the coach heard the hollow knock of her bat meeting the ball, as she watched the ball sail toward the fence.  It was an undeniable home-run hit! 

As she celebrated with her team, the coach noticed commotion at first base.  Her player was down!  As the home-run hitter crossed first base, she twisted her ankle and tore her ACL.  Devastation set in as the coach ran across the field to attend to her player.  She knew that if she touched her player, she would be called out, and all runs would be nullified.  But the welfare of her player overruled her desire to win.  As she approached the player, the opposing team’s second base player yelled, “Stop!”  The opposing player turned to the umpire.  “What if we carry her around the bases to Home-plate?”

The baffled umpires quickly convened and concluded that the rules had no restrictions on opposing team members assisting an active runner.  The second baseman was joined by another opposing player and together they carried the injured runner, pausing to allow her to touch each base as they passed by.  When the players reached home plate, the stands erupted in ovation!  The second base player later explained that she felt the heartache of losing such an important game because of an injury, and her team’s priority had always been to take care of people before ensuring a win.

The selflessness portrayed by these women is quite remarkable and, arguably, rare.  But such selflessness is exactly where God wants to take each of us.  When we set aside our own desires and take up the cause of individuals around us, we are modeling the great love of Jesus.  He laid everything down for us and restored our fellowship with our Heavenly Father.

Today, ask the Lord to give you the courage to set aside your desires and serve those around you. Ask God for opportunities to show His love to friends, family and coworkers.

Reading: Psalm 40:8; John 5:30; John 15:11-17