I’m a Braves fan, having yelled and waved the Tomahawk Chop in my living room in October for a long time, so I’m as upset as anybody about their collapse last night and potential elimination from the playoffs.
And yes, I have spent a good part of the day irritated with journeyman second baseman Brooks Conrad, who has been a fielding disaster zone in this series. His three errors last night alone resulted in the 2 runs that made the difference in their loss to the Giants. It really was a “Bad News Bears” moment.
I have also watched, listened and read the comments about Conrad today. Some have been sympathetic; many have been vicious.
But as is often the case, John Fischer put everything in perspective for me. In a few words, he painted a picture of how people who know the gospel of grace would treat Brooks Conrad’s failure. Listen:
“….I noticed, as the manager brought in a new pitcher, that the rest of the infield gathered at the mound, but not Conrad. He was standing out at second, alone in his misery. It wasn’t that his teammates shunned him – it doesn’t take an invitation to come to the mound – but what seemed clear was that he couldn’t face them knowing he had let them down. Someone needed to go out there and give the poor guy some grace and mercy, and maybe they did, but I only saw the few seconds the TV camera caught of him, and that picture spoke volumes. Five players and a manager standing around the pitcher’s mound, and Brooks Conrad alone at second.”
And so again, I am reminded how difficult it is to live out the gospel of grace in any sort of consistent way. There is a constant reminder that the world is full of people who need to know that failure is not final and that scandalous mercy is available for the most egregious errors and evident screw-ups of life.
Fischer asks a great question: “Do you know anyone who is alone at second?….Take it on yourself to go and extend grace and mercy to that person. It’s what we all need and what God has offered to each and every one of us: grace (what we don’t deserve) and mercy (exemption from what we do).”
Let’s be gospel aware. Every single day, we meet people standing alone at second. Every single day, we meet people who are desperate for the grace and mercy that come only when the gospel life of Jesus flows through us to them…right where they are.
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