Recent events provide a strong sense of comfort
At last week’s Graduation Ceremony at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, we anticipated that the nationally known black speaker, Dr. Marc H. Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and current CEO of the National Urban League — the nation’s largest civil rights organization — would speak for at least an hour or so which would have been fine.
But his opening line was, “My speech today is going to be 13 minutes and 13 seconds to honor this class of 2013.” He told the new graduates that they need to remember the three C’s in life – Choice, Courage, and Compassion. It was a brilliant speech.
One time Jesus told us that God loves each of us so much that God will send a Comforter to us. Each of us is comforted in different ways daily.
The Top 4 ways that God comforted me this past week through Baseball.
1. Attending the college graduation of Karl James yesterday and sitting with his parents Brenda and Berry and their families. Brenda and Berry adopted Karl at birth.
2. The black university graduation ceremony had the U.S. military presence at the center of the ceremony. The university ROTC students literally held the flags up for the two-hour outdoor ceremony.
The winds were so strong that the flag and stands would have blown over had the ROTC cadets not stood at attention holding the US flag and the Texas flag for two hours. It was moving as those cadets quietly honored our country and the flag and the ceremony.
The class of 1963 was seated with the class of 2013. The class of 1963 was wearing gold gowns and gold hats, marking their 50th anniversary of their own graduation. 1963 was a turbulent year in our country.
3. Remembering Karl’s history. Through an adoption mediator, Karl’s birth parents communicated to Brenda and Berry prior to the adoption.
Karl’s birth parents asked Brenda and Berry “Will you raise him to love baseball?” Berry’s dad played minor league baseball and Berry loves baseball so his answer was an easy “Yes.”
Brenda, a judge, grew up on academics and not on sports. Hers was a more challenging commitment. She subsequently studied baseball and mastered it at the level she mastered law… at the highest level.
She went to all of Karl’s baseball games, she turned her intellect to the science of baseball statistics and became the statistician of all of Karl’s baseball teams. Her legal staff even complained to me one time that Brenda’s computer keeps locking up because she had overloaded her computer with all of Karl’s and his team’s baseball statistics.
Karl is a lefty and threw the ball at 93 mph in high school. One time at the San Marcos Academy, where Karl pitched, the coach decided to cut the baseball field…with goats. The goats ate the infield grass…roots and all. Ruined the field.
Brenda and Berry laid down $5,000 that week to pay for laying new sod that week so that the team could play that Friday night. Promises cost us money. She promised the birth parents.
I love that story. I love playing ball with Karl and his adopted brother Tommy.
4. Marc, the speaker, told of leaving his home town of New Orleans, where he knew so many people, and going off to law school at Georgetown in Washington D.C. He came back home to New Orleans and a person living on the streets approached him and said, “So…you went off to the big city and got yourself a education and a law degree.” The street man went on.
“So you are a lawyer now. Well, then, tell me what is the best nation in the world?”
Marc said, “Well, the United States of America, of course!?”
The man said, “Nope.” The new lawyer listed countries in Africa and around the world. All wrong answers.
Finally the man told the new lawyer “The best nation in the world is a DONATION. And I need a donation from you to help me get through the day!”
Marc gave him a donation to help him get through the day.
Marc told the class of 2013 yesterday “You HAVE to tithe to the world. You have to go out and donate to the world. You owe the world. You owe your parents. You owe this nation. You have to tithe your life.”
The university president then told the students “Go celebrate today. Go party tonight. And Go to church tomorrow.”