Soul Food: “Baseballs, Scars, and Messy Hearts” by Esther Camealy
Baseballs, Scars, and Messy Hearts
At the tender age of 4, my biggest aspirations in life were to be included in whatever game my older sister and her friends happened to be playing at any given moment. Even so, this was often a tall order. I was four years her junior and was far better at being annoying than I was at honing any valuable skills.
One particular afternoon, one of the neighbor boys came over to play. The game was baseball, and my job was to make sure I didn’t get in the way. But I was resolute in my desire to be included. I knew how to play baseball—after all, I had seen baseball on television countless times with my dad. It couldn’t be that difficult.
I devised a plan: I would wait until the first pitch was thrown, and then I would rush to take my place as catcher – in the same place the professional catchers sat in the televised games I had seen – directly behind the batter. It was a brilliant plan, really, except I didn’t account for the batter’s swing—a rookie’s mistake.
As I proudly executed my clever plan, a metal baseball bat struck flesh when my sister’s swing missed the ball and met my forehead, knocking me backwards. My mother swept me into her arms, blood gushing from my wound such that she would never wear those khaki shorts again, and rushed me to the hospital where I promptly received 14 stitches above my left eye.
In the days and weeks that followed, the stitches came out, an unsightly scab formed, and then a scar began to appear. The scar remained as a visible reminder of that experience long after the pain went away.
Life is messy. None of us will escape without heartache, pain, and scars resulting from living in a fallen world. We all bear physical and emotional wounds. The good news is that when we lean into the Ultimate Healer—Jesus—he has the power to turn those wounds into scars (which is where the real healing begins). The pain may subside, but being left with the memory of the moment isn’t always a bad thing. There are lessons to be learned in the depths of our pain. And while we should learn from our hurt and our mistakes, we do not have to dwell there. When we trust in Jesus, true healing is within our reach.
In Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV), God says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I learned well the lesson of not running behind a swinging metal baseball bat early on in my life. Decades later, I have to strain in the mirror to see a faint trace of that scar, although I know it is still there. This is a physical example of what God can do with our hearts. The scars prove to remind us of just how far the Lord has brought us in our deliverance.
Father, thank you for providing us with a tangible reminder that you have a purpose in our pain. Help us to trust your plan and to look for you at work around us. Teach us to lean into you for the healing we so desperately need. Turn our wounds into scars and allow us to move beyond the former things of our past that are keeping us from healing and fellowship with you. Thank you that you are doing a new thing in our lives!
Are there some wounded places in your heart and life you need to surrender to the Lord for healing?
Are you allowing past hurts to grow into bitterness in your heart?
If you answered “yes” to either or both of these questions, God is calling you to let go and lay your burdens at His nail-pierced feet.
Psalm 107:19-21 (NIV)
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Faith in Action
For the better part of the last 15 years, I have been advocating the use of prayer journaling to anyone who would listen. This is a gift and a privilege that has transformed my faith walk with the Lord. It has been the most effective tool in my journey to spiritual and emotional healing.
If you are wrestling with hurt, pain, bitterness, anger, or any other myriad of emotions you are trying to understand, will you accept the challenge to spend a few days this week candidly expressing those feelings to the Lord in a written or electronic prayer journal? God is big enough for your honesty. Trust Him with your healing as you lay your burdens at His feet and use it as a means to see how far He can bring you from your personal darkness.
Contributor ~ Esther Camealy
Esther is a Mississippi-born-and-raised Huntsville transplant. She moved to Huntsville, AL in 2009 to begin her career as a business professional, knowing very little about the place she would soon call her new home. In 2013, she married her best friend, Clint, whom she met in the Rocket City. They are active members of Willowbrook Baptist Church. Esther came to know the Lord as a young girl and has had a burning desire to honor Him and make Him known ever since. She has an undergraduate degree in English and Spanish, and a Master’s in Business Administration. She enjoys traveling, writing about what God is doing around her, painting with watercolors and oils, and learning how to do DIY house projects with her husband. Her personal blog can be found at Snapshots of Mercy.