Very few of us ever get to be professional ball players and yet many of us played sports when we were young. I remember playing softball on my 4-H club team. I remember how wonderful it felt when I connected with the ball and it went sailing through the air and I got on base. It especially felt wonderful because of how hard it was to get the bat on the ball. If you swung under the pitch it would be a foul ball or a fly ball that could be easily caught. If you swung on top of the pitch you ended up hitting a ground ball and were easily thrown out. You had to try your best to time your swing with the speed of the pitch so that when your bat hit the ball it was the center of the bat that was making contact with the ball. This has come to be known in sports jargon as hitting the sweet spot. It is impossible to hit the sweet spot every time you swing. No matter how much you practice. No matter how long you have played there is no way to hit the sweet spot except to keep stepping into the batter’s box and giving it your best swing.
I am thinking about hitting the sweet spot as I convalesce at home after being hospitalized back in January because of a blood clot in my leg that went through my heart and my lungs that almost killed me. I am feeling much better now and contemplating going back to work. But after talking with my doctor this morning he has advised me to wait another month before once again having contact with patients in the hospital. I want to get back in the batter’s box. I want to get back in the game. I want to hit that sweet spot when you connect with another person and your hearts open to each other and you know God is present in that conversation. But in these days of Covid-19 I have to be wise and not jeopardize my health or that of the patients.
So how do we stay in the game and minister to one another when Covid-19 has relegated so many of us to the dugout and we can’t make contact with one another? More than ever before I have come to see the blessings of having the technology that we do and how that can be used to connect with one another. Texts and emails and phone calls have allowed me to stay in touch with my family and friends. And things like this blog enable me to share my thoughts and experiences with a wider audience than I could reach in my visits in the hospital. So I am grateful for these tools that still give me a platform to communicate and connect with all of you who are reading this and who are also facing major challenges in your lives whether it is your work, your health, your concerns for your family, or your concerns for your future.
So even if we are sheltering in place let us all see that we are not sitting on the bench in the dugout. We are not out of the game. We are still engaged in living and loving one another. It is now up to each of us to find a way to still connect with one another. We have to find a way to check on each other. We have to find a way to let each other know we are thinking about each other and praying for one another. Not all of our efforts will succeed. Not all of our attempts to reach out will be welcomed or accepted. But in spite of the missed swings and foul balls we have to keep swinging because we know that if we do we will hit the sweet spot with someone.