When Kids Look Up
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
These days I umpire little league baseball games. Boy, do I come home with some funny stories to tell Christe, Abby, and JoJo! And occasionally, I get brushed with a wild pitch and need to apply a bit of ice before I go to bed. Also from time to time, I get yelled at by parents who can see plays better from 30 yards away than I can from only 5 yards. Knowing that I'm coming home to my sweet wife and her reassurance helps me in those moments.
Last night I was umping some 8 year olds (so I was hit by a few pitches because the catcher was just a little boy who didn't shield me so much!). What I found most fascinating was that at least half of the boys, as they approached the batters box, would look through the back stop (right over my shoulder) for their parents, hoping to catch their eyes... some boys would even say, "Hey Dad!" or something to get attention. In that particular case actually, the father replied, "I see ya, just get ready to hit."
I was so mad at that man! This little 8 year old boy just wanted his dad's approval, some affirmation... and that man could've made that kid about a foot taller if he would've said something (anything) positive like, "Hey buddy, I see ya... Long-ball-Joey's coming up to bat!"
(Yeah, you noticed I put my own kid's name in there...)
I know I'm mostly just supposed to be calling balls & strikes, fair & foul, safe & out on nights like that and I'm certainly not asked to be a social-psychologist... but c'mon! We were all called to something better and higher than that! Our children desparately need our kindness, our grace, our investment in their lives... a reflection of the Father's love for us all.
Just as parents are kind to their children, the Lord is kind to all who worship him. Psalm 103:13