My nephew, Drake and I had the privilege of going to Ranger’s game this week at the invitation of my good friends, Russell, Drake, and Chuck. It turned out to be a beautiful evening, Russell’s sweet wife, Laura made us hotdogs, and the Rangers won 12-1 (this really might be the year Ranger’s fans!).
I’ve been going to baseball games for more than 45 years, but I saw something this week that will be forever etched in my memory. I watched a man fall. It was a horrific scene. The man reached over the railing to catch a foul ball and he literally tumbled from the upper deck, to the ground level seats. Fortunately, the gentleman is doing okay now, but the fact that he survived the fall is incredible.
We learned later that he actually fell on top of four people (which turned out to be good for him) who are all doing fine as well. The reaction of the home plate umpire indicates the severity of what happened. He saw the fall and turned away in what seemed to be terror. He then halted the game for twenty minutes or so (it seemed like an hour).
One outfielder was lying face down on the field and you could see his pain. Groups of players were standing around looking up in disbelief. I think I saw some players praying. The ballpark grew silent and still. Even after play resumed, there was an awkward feel about the rest of the game.
It was one of the most eerie, surreal feelings I have ever experienced in my life. I said a quiet prayer for the man but to witness this gentlemen tumbling to the ground, wanting badly to reach out to save him with no ability to be able to do so was an empty feeling. I wondered about his family, about his future, and about his soul.
I’ve thought about it a number of times since it happened. I’ve also thought about the millions of people who live within a hundred mile radius of where I live who are falling every day. There are people all around us who are tumbling toward eternity with no one to catch him or her or soften the fall. If they do not come in contact with Jesus and change the direction of their life the fall will be catastrophic. They will be separated from God and everything that is good throughout eternity.
They have no spiritual lifeline and I wonder how often we pause to think about them, or try to keep them from falling. Here are just a few suggestions for those of us who would like to help someone who is falling. Please feel free to add your suggestions.
(1) Be more aware of people around us who do not know Jesus. We must remember that one cannot be saved without Christ (John 14:6). We need to have hearts for those without Christ. There is a poem that we learned many years ago that says, “For others Lord, for others, let this my motto be; help me to live for others, that I may live like Thee.”
(2) Be willing to tell others what you know about Jesus. The Apostle Paul said that people couldn’t hear unless someone is willing to tell (Romans 10:14). We must tell what we know. We should always be searching for more opportunities to invite people to worship with us, to study with us and to pray with us.
(3) Show others what it means to live like Jesus. The greatest sermon that can be preached is not necessarily audible. We should show people Christ in our life and we should show others the joy of living the Abundant life (Please read: 2 Corinthians 3:1-4; John 10:10).
(4) Pray every day for everyone around us who have not come in contact with the saving blood of Jesus (Romans 10:1). Take some time every day to pray for specific family members, friends, co-workers, and others who need to know our Savior.
Dear Father, we thank you that the man who fell at the ball game in Texas the other night is going to be okay. We are thankful that the people who cushioned his fall have no serious injuries as well. But Father, we pray for those all around us who are falling without Jesus. We pray that we will do our part, through our prayers, our words and our lives to help them. Dear God, help us to reach out to the people who are a part of our life who do not know our Savior. Father, help us to be more aware of those around us and help us to tell as many people as we possibly can about Jesus.