Happy Valentine’s Day.
Imagine when you were a child, the most precious play thing in your world may have been your one and only baseball. It was special so you wrote your name on it. It helped distinguish your baseball from all of your friends’ baseballs when you got together for friendly games and play. You often threw it out to people you barely knew, sometimes they dropped it, sometimes it rolled in the street, sometimes they caught it and held it for a while, but you generally managed to get it back by the end of the day. There were days that your baseball even went under cars but you still managed to wiggle in and wiggle back out with it accepting some of the bruises that curve balls can inflict. Maybe now it had a few more scratches than yesterday, and more to come surely tomorrow, but it was still yours, and fighting to get it back was sometimes necessary. Recovering your ball after a long struggle gave such relief to what could have been a disastrous night of tears for some, but no one was going to steal “your ball”.
Imagine this one adorable girl was playing with her baseball, you know the special one, with her name on it, and a little heart because afterall, she was a girl. This is the baseball – the one her father had given her. The one they had tossed around in “play” in the protective confines of their backyard on those beautiful weekends. He told her to guard it, and be careful with it when you play with others. It may be just a ball to them, and many people are careless. One day, our little girl was tossing her baseball around with supposed friends. One of the boys dropped it, one kicked it, and finally one threw it over the fence into the woods. It absolutely crushed her. She didn’t know if she’d ever get it back. It was if her most precious possession – that single ball with her name on it and the little red heart – was forever lost. It was as if her heart and soul had been lost forever. You’ve seen that lost look -overwhelming everything that a public smile tries to hide and seeing a deep pain on a face that would have been beautiful by any measurement.
And then there was this boy who came out of nowhere, who knew the importance of a lost baseball, because his had been tossed around with great disregard. He hops the fence, dives into the deep brush to find the bruised and battered baseball of this girl. Rushing back to her, drying her eyes, brushing her hair from her tear streaked cheeks, he places the baseball in her hands and then covers her hands with his for security. It was like a floodgate had opened and a joy returned to her.
They share their stories of lost baseballs, and laughing together she knew that today, something happened that was very, very different. She found someone that cared about her baseball more than anyone else in the world. He rescued it, carried it back to her, and reassured her it was worth protecting. Looking at each other, they knew in this one moment, that this is the person, the one standing directly in front of them, the one person that understood.
Dropping to his knees, he reaches into his back pocket, and with his outstretched hands, he entrusts in her hands his most precious possession, to hold forever, and never lose. It was his baseball, the one with his name on it, the one he has guarded forever. And then, she gave him hers.