I felt the brush of something past my forehead. By the time I stopped in my blind dash for second base, the field around me erupted in shouting. My husband, who'd been running beside me to ensure I landed on the bag and stopped before ending up in left field, was screaming at someone. Other players were shouting, their voices gathering around. "What happened?" i asked my husband, who stood quivering beside me.
"Are you Okay?" he growled from between his teeth. "Did the ball hit you?"
As the clamour began to die down, I picked up bits and pieces of the conversations around me. "The short stop threw the ball at your head." someone said.
"If he'd hit her she wouldn't be conscious," said another. "That ball was probably 90 miles an hour.
"What's your problem, man?" I hear my husband shout over my head.
I know what his problem was. We were playing in a co-ed softball league and it bothered this guy that they'd let the blind lady play. I'd heard nasty comments slip from this dude's mouth a couple of times. "What is this the special Olympics?"
"Why don't we all just sit down and let her run around the bases until the other team wins."
"I didn't come to hold hands, I came to compete.
At the time his attitude bothered me. I hit the ball on my own. Erik told me to swing or not, but I had to listen, ignore him, and actually make contact by myself. The pitcher was awesome. He'd give me a verbal cue when he threw the ball like "Here it comes.", but I still had to find the pitch. I ran myself, Erik just told me where to stop...
Its actually sort of funny as I picture it now. Blind baseball. Once I even ran toward the pitcher's mound instead of second base. I got out of course. I told you the story about the ball dropping behind me while I stood oblivious.No one decided we'd pretend I caught the ball because I was in the general area. All of it was a ton of fun and the attitude's of the people I played with went a long way to make softball some of my best times.
I can, however, understand this short stop's frustration. He wanted to win through competition and dominance. The other team was winning, but with me on the field this poor guy felt like he might as well have been playing T-ball with his kids.
My husband Erik later told me if the guy had hit me he'd have beat the pulp out of him. He was lucky he'd missed. I'm glad it was only a close call, for my benefit, but also for Erik's. This guy wouldn't have enjoyed the experience either, but I really don't care about him. I mean, I don't want him to get hit by a truck or anything, but getting revenge for me, or even because this guy deserved a good beat down would only have scarred my husband.
Perhaps not physically, but definitely emotionally and spiritually. He says it wouldn't but I know him. Revenge would've left him angry and empty. He hates conflict and he loves sports. It would have left a bitter taste in his soul.
Often we want an apology, or at least an acknowledgement of wrong doing before we forgive.
"You were wrong and I was hurt I don't owe you anything, certainly not forgiveness.
However if you're sorry, or at least chagrined, I'll consider giving forgiveness to you. You might deserve it then."
Isn't that our attitude sometimes?None of us deserve forgiveness. The Savior was perfect and he forgives everyone. We are all less than he is. None of us deserve his condescension to our level.
Here's the thing though. Forgiveness isn't a gift we give others. Its the gift we give ourselves. Without forgiveness, we're left with anger, betrayal, hurt and revenge. Filling your heart and mind with those emotions is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.
You don't forgive someone to make their life better and their conscious easier. You do it so you can prosper, be full of happiness, and live well.
After all, isn't that the best revenge?"