Sawyer walked in the door from his grey and chilly final baseball game, the year that he was technically too old to play t-ball but physically too young to play little league. He was all smiles because his team had won by one point, even though he literally never touched the ball for the entire hour and fifteen minutes. The wet fields had caked his shoes with mud, and somehow the cleats turned the mud into a familiar pattern, one that we live our lives by, that we would give everything for.
He held it up, thrilled by the muddy outline that just happened to appear on the bottom of hand-me-down baseball cleats. He held it up high, for all of us to see, and Adelade said, God makes beautiful things.
I stood there looking at my small son, holding the symbol that seems too small to hold it all, all the love, all the sacrifice, all the sin, all the burden. Yet, it can and it does.
Next year, Sawyer may not even want to play baseball. He may remember the long innings in the outfield, where no baseballs ever dared to fly. He may remember all the times he stood up to bat, with his wonderful coach shouting encouragement, only to make the long walk back to the dugout after another strike out.
But, whether he ever picks up another baseball bat, I will have this image of him forever, tiny little leaguer, holding up the only thing that matters, with a champion’s grin on his face.