I don’t know if you have watched the movie 42: The Jackie Robinson Movie. If you haven’t, it’s a must see! I knew the story before hitting play on our DVD player (which is another story all on its own! Why do these TVs have to be so complicated to use? I had to wake up my son because I didn’t know how to turn the dang thing on!). As I watched the movie, Jackie’s story inspired me to keep fighting the good fight with integrity, class, and character. Despite everything he had to endure, he continued to fight hard; he never gave up nor let the world beat him down. This movie only gives us a slice of what life was like for black men and women-- pain and suffering that most of us will never experience. His manager and Jackie’s faith in Christ is what kept him in the game. I loved it when one commenter said, “Jackie has guts.” I hope one day someone will look at our life, what we stood for, and repeat the same words about you and me.
We may not go down in history as a great baseball player like Jackie Robinson, nor face racism the way he did. However, we still have our bases to run and homeruns to hit. God used Jackie in the game of baseball to stand for something much bigger than a ball and a bat. Every time he stepped on the field, he gave hope to the hopeless. Every time someone came against him, when the world seemed like they would never embrace him, he gave friends to the friendless. His life was a testimony that people can change, as his team, and eventually the fans, embraced him. Every time someone acted in his or her own flesh, or misused the word of God, he shined the light of Christ for everyone to see. This black man in the 1940’s was a light in this dark world! He wasn't a perfect man, but God doesn't expect perfection. He was a husband and a man after God’s own heart.
I want people to look at my life, and the lives of my friends, and see that. I want them to see people who are going against the majority, who are standing on the word of God, who at times feel like they are striking out. I want people to see that despite everything against us, we decide to get back into the batter box, hold on to the bat, and not just point to the stands, but to God! How I pray that I have the guts and the courage to do this. If we are going to continue swinging our bats, we need to know who we are in Him. Keep hitting those base hits, because one day it will be a home run!