I am currently working my way through Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back by Josh Hamilton. I don't want to go too much into his story, but let's just say he was on top of the world, he hit rock bottom, and we serve a gracious God.
As I was reading today, I came across this story that he told about a boy named Ashley who was a part of the high school baseball team. Ashley had Down Syndrome and served as the team's bat boy. One day, after a tough loss, Ashley had convinced himself that it was his fault that he had lost the game, even though he did not play at all. He sat crying on the bus because he was afraid the other boys were upset with him. Below is the interaction Josh had with Ashley.
“I’m sorry, Josh,” he said. “I’m sorry I lost the game.”
This was ridiculous, of course. Ashley didn’t hit or pitch one ball, but I couldn’t put it that way for fear of hurting his feelings.
“Oh, no, Ashley,” I said. “No one person ever loses a game for a team. We win as a team and lose as a team.”
Immediately, Ashley’s face brightened. He stopped crying and smiled at me as the tears streaked down his cheeks.
“Does that mean I’m part of the team?”
“Of course it does, Ashley. You know that.”
His smile turned to laughter. He reached over and wrapped his arms around me, squeezing me tight with a big hug. For the rest of the ride home, if you had looked at Ashley you would have sworn we just won the state championship.
I have three boys and I am, through God's grace, raising them to be good men. It is my prayer that they will grow up to have the same character as Josh Hamilton.
If you want to read more about Josh Hamilton, you can get his biography at Amazon.com.