It was just your average baseball game and your average pitch. But when the baseball bat connected, the ball came screaming towards Archie Bradley’s face. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher had only a split second to react, and it wasn’t enough. The ball smashed into the side of his face with an audible impact and he immediately went down to the ground.
At this moment the game completely stopped. No one cared that Colorado Rockies Carlos Gonzalez made it to first base. No one cared what the score was. The stadium went completely silent. The medical staff rushed out. The Diamondback players ran to their downed teammate. Gonzalez clapped his hands in frustration of what he had done by accident, and watched with concern. Both benches looked on with great worry. Every eye was fixed on Archie Bradley, peering for any signs of movement; any indication that he was ok. The announcer accurately captured the feeling when he said, “Obviously concern on both sides of the field and in the stands. Sometimes things just supersede competition. Everybody is concerned.” Finally, after several agonizing minutes, Bradley sat up and eventually walked off the field under his own power. With a standing ovation, the crowd clapped and cheered him all the way into the dugout.
Incredibly, Bradley did not end up with a concussion or any shattered bones. He did suffer huge swelling on his right cheek, a black eye, and a small sinus fracture. Others who have been hit in the face before him were not so lucky. The line drive from Carlos Gonzalez reached 115 mph, making it the 12th fastest hit so far this year.
There are times in life when everything just stops. Whatever we were doing or whatever our plans were just vanish. It is a time to be selfless and focus on others. Romans 12:15 talks about important times when we should “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” When someone is going through something wonderful or terrible, it’s important to be there for them in their joy or sorrow. Our life should stop. It’s a time to put own lives and concerns aside and be there for someone else.
This is just one more way to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31), to put others above ourselves (Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3-4), and be a servant (Matthew 23:11). Good things result when we are willing to humble ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 5:6). Let’s watch for these important opportunities to serve and help.