Monday, May 5, 2008

A Mother's Day to Remember

I’m the oldest grandchild on my mother’s side of the family. For many years, there were six of us grandsons. We were spread out by about two years each. We had such fun when we were together at my grandparents’ house. Then, when I was 18 or so, my aunt had a girl. Having a girl thrown into the mix was a new dynamic for our entire family. No one knew how to relate to a baby girl. I always felt fortunate that I was an adult by the time she came along, if 18 can be considered an adult.

I’ll never forget one visit to my grandparents’ house. It was Mother’s Day. I was 15 years old. After our big family lunch, the boys made their way outside. We began playing hide-and-go-seek and other games. Finally, we wound up playing baseball. My cousins had a plastic bat we could use, my brother had a real baseball, and we all had gloves. So, we started taking batting practice. My brother could throw the ball extremely hard. So, we elected him to be the pitcher. I was the catcher and my cousins started batting.

After we had been playing for a while, my oldest cousin came up to bat. My brother wound up and threw the ball as hard as he could. My cousin swung the plastic bat with all of his might. As he swung, the bat wasn’t able to withstand the force of the ball and bent in the middle, causing the ball to curve upwards. As the catcher, I was fully prepared to catch the ball where my brother was throwing it, but I was not prepared to catch the ball when it curved upwards. The ball missed the top of my glove and hit me squarely between the eyes, directly on the top of my nose.

I immediately went falling over backwards and in a matter of seconds was covered in blood. My nose began to swell, my eyes began to swell, my head hurt worse than I’d ever felt it before. Well, two blackened eyes, a concussion, and a broken nose later, I was on my way to the emergency room to repair the damage caused by an errant ball curving the wrong direction.

It is amazing how quickly fun can turn serious, how quickly a good time can become an emergency; how quickly smiles turn to pain.

It's also amazing how quickly a discussion between friends can become heated; how quickly a debate turns negative.

I didn't like my broken nose, not one bit. I also don't like the negative spirit I often find on blogs, in churches, in sermons, and among those of us in Christian circles. Let's put aside the negative. Let's put aside the arguments. Let's find what we can agree on, not on what separates us.

To me, that's a better way to blog, to preach, to worship, and simply to live.

On this blog, I will do my best to be positive, to share the good in life. As you have questions, comments, or even ideas about write about, please let me know. I'd love to begin a positive dialogue with you.

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