PROVERBIAL APRIL, nearing the end, Proverbs 29
It seems now that we did it a lot, my dad and I, playing catch in the back yard, my little Manchester Chihuahua, José running back and forth with every throw.
Dad had played on the Monica Park church softball team.
Outfield. He could really run.
I don’t remember when it became a regular thing, so we must have started when I was pretty young.
The game was simple; throw the ball. Catch the ball.
I remember my dad’s quickness to catch my wild throws, sometimes having to leap high, stretching to keep that ball from going over the fence into the mouth of the neighbor’s slobbering boxer.
I could have played for hours. I never tired of the game.
Dad would mix it up. Grounders, fly balls.
“Be on the balls of your feet, knees bent, ready to go any direction.”
He would zip one to my right, I would stretch and sidearm the throw back to him.
“Runner’s out,” he would grin.
Pop fly, over my head. Back, back…
“Both hands whenever you can. Keeps the ball from popping out of your glove, and also makes you ready to throw the ball where it needs to go.”
Every once in a while, we would play burnout.
I would throw it as hard as I could. He would let it hit right in the palm of the glove, so it would pop, and take the glove off , shake his hand like it really did burn.
Then he would zing one back to me. I had learned to catch them in the webbing so they didn’t hurt, but, every once in a while, I would let it pop in the palm, take off my glove, and shake my hand up and down.
It really did burn.
On Saturdays, we would watch the New York Yankees on TV; Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Elston Howard, Tom Tresh, Clete Boyer, Bobby Richardson, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford.
I learned the rules of the game from my dad. I learned the joy of playing by the rules, how to win. How to lose.
When I played, my dad would be in the stands. I could hear his voice, “ Two hands!”
“Be ready, balls of your feet.” “Keep your eyes on the ball.” “Good catch!” “Good throw!” “That’s my boy!”
He loved watching the son he loved playing the game he loved the way he taught him to play.
“A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father….”
Proverbs 29:3a NIV
When I was given new life from above, I discovered the God who made me, and learned the joy of being with him and hearing his lessons on how to live life, reading his book and learning more and more about his character.
He is a good Father.
I can hear Him in the stands, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here.” “Be alert, be ready.” “I’ve taught you this.” You can do this!” “You’re my son.”
He loves watching the son He loves, living the Life He gave him, the way He taught him to live