I stood at first base watching my son Carter crouched at second, waiting for a ground ball.
We are a few weeks into baseball lessons at the Big Vision Foundation from Dan Clouser, founder and president, and a good friend of mine. Clouser is a long time coach. He threw ball after ball as Carter fielded, pivoted, and threw across to me.
Later he hit and I chased his line drives all over the field. My boy, the one I held for the first time almost seven years ago, is growing into a young man. It was a transcendent moment. The sun-drenched afternoon, sprinklers watering the fields around us, music playing from the loudspeaker above the concession stand, and the crack of Carter’s bat as he hit ball after ball. It was perfection.
I inhaled and held my breath, willing it to stay in as long as possible. Our souls were joined; father and son, young and old, across a game and a field, years and time, words and thoughts.
I saw the intersection of past, present, and future.
This week our church holds Vacation Bible School. Over 1,000 kids will participate over four nights of activities, songs, dancing, playing, and worship. I picked Carter up tonight and the excitement in the church was palpable.
This month has been brutal for our church and this country, with the horrific accident that took the life of our pastor’s wife and almost his own. He is still in ICU with additional surgeries coming. Then the atrocity in Charleston has left so many questions, pointed fingers, and broken hearts.
I believe real change is possible and, as I walked through the church tonight to pick up Carter, the answer was there.
We must invest in the next generation.
There are children who don’t know racism, who don’t see skin tone or orientations. There are children untainted by hatred and anger.
Just today a group of students met on Penn Street in Reading to pray for the city and anyone in need.
We talk about lifting up the lives of our peers, family, spouses, and friends. It is time to lift up the lives of the children around us. We must lay the foundation while we still have the chance.
Racism, anger, hatred, and violence exist now but they all have a shelf life. You may have laughed when you read that but I believe it is true. I have hope, faith in radical love that crosses boundaries and burns down borders. I believe there will be a day of equality. I believe my boys will be a part of it and it is my goal as a father.
They will dream big, love well, and make peace.
All we can do as parents is to provide the means to make the world a better place, equip them, and let them take flight.