I am bad at softball.
I mean, bad. I can’t hit. Or throw. Or catch. Or run very fast.
I tried to explain this to our church softball team, but they brushed my cautions aside. “You’re the pastor, and you play,” they said.
I thought they would change their minds once they saw me in action. (Pro Tip: I am not exaggerating the lack of skill I bring to this game.) But this is my third summer at First and Beckville, and my third season “playing” church ball.
Last night was my first game. It was a hot, hot, humid, humid, humid night. My glove was immediately filled with sweat and my shoes were immediately covered with dust.
I distinguished myself early by not only failing to catch a ball but also getting hit in the chin with it as it bounced off the ground. Things did not get better from there.
But here’s the thing. Nobody gave me a hard time about it. They teased me a little, but in a lighthearted, good-natured way. “Good game,” we all said as we shook hands.
Because of church softball, I know that God’s grace is real. Only grace keeps inviting us to be a part of things no matter how often we fail. Only grace keeps welcoming us to the team no matter how obviously we don’t deserve a spot in the line up. Only grace says “Good game” at the end no matter how the game really went.
Thank you, team, and thank you, God, for such a gift of grace.