God's Perfection

In Brooklyn, New York, there is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in the school for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.

At a fundraising dinner, the father of a disabled child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child." He then told the following story about his son:

One afternoon the father and son walked past a park where some boys were playing baseball. The son asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" The father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.

The father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if his son could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning." The father was ecstatic as the son smiled broadly. The son was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the boy's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, the son was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let him bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, he was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because he didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as he stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so he should at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came in and he swung clumsily and missed. One of his teammates came up and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward the boys. As the pitch came in, the son and his teammate swung the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. The son would have been out and that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Run to first. Run to first!" Never in his life had the boy run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman that would tag out the son, who was still running. But, the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." The boy ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As he reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As he rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Run home!" He ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grandslam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."