Been there, done that
Actually, I did play baseball. once or twice. Joining some club, here in Berlin. I loved baseball gloves, mostly, and the whole style was very appealing to me. I do not know very much about baseball, though. Home run? You throw the ball (which is, btw, so incredibly stylish!) and the run, managing to pass all three bases before the ball is caught, right? Walk-off? Last minute? If that home run is not achieved, your team goes home loosing, right?
So, I played baseball about 18 years ago, Nine years ago I sat in church, dead broke, with Christmas fast approaching. I had roughly thirty pounds in my pocket, and nothing else stashed away anywhere else. That was literally the last money I owned, and there was no money coming in in the foreseeable future. Then, suddenly, I felt compelled to give twenty pounds into the bucket. Pretty stupid!
I did not see the point therein, yet the pull became stronger and stronger. And, would you believe it, I did give that money away. maybe it was due to the fact that my life seemed to be so close to the edge, what difference do these twenty now make? I went home as usual, and no angel appeared from the sky informing me that now I would soon be a millionaire or similar. Instead, it was Monday, then Tuesday, and now I had to use my final five pounds to drive into town to pick something up from university.
I walked through the doors and for the first time I saw a small sign reading something like Student Union. In all the previous years, it had not ever occurred to me to go looking for something like a union, and this sign never caught my eye before. I asked the woman at the main reception desk whether I could make an appointment. Note, this was the main reception, not the reception for the Unions office. She informed me that in order to get an appointment, one would have to get onto a waiting list of roughly six to seven weeks.
Just in that instance, the lady responsible for the Union stuck her head outside her office and called to the receptionist: “You can let her in, it’s ok, I have a minute!” Still not knowing what a Union does, I followed the lady into her office. She lead the conversation. “Why are you here?”, she asked. “I guess I was wondering if there is any help available”, I said. “Financial Hardship cases you mean?” “Actually, I am not sure what I mean.” “What did you have in mind?”
I told her how I had no money to pay the tube fare back, She was in disbelief. How come I had no money coming in, she wondered. I told her how I just had quit my job since I needed to focus on the upcoming finals. Since it was a part-time course I expected to get unemployment money, but had waited in vain for three months. Now, even if I were to get a job and thereby fail my course, I would still have nothing to live on let alone travel with. What she did next was pretty close to a miracle.
She opened her drawers and still, shaking her head, mumbled to herself. “No money at all? Too weird…” She then proceeded to hand me 70£. “This is all I have right now. We will file an official application for some more funds.” With those words she handed me some paperwork to sign, and soon thereafter I left the office. Roughly three days later I had 700 more pounds in my account. A letter arrived at my place informing me of a further 500 to arrive in the new year. Also, all my student fees would be paid for by the fund for hardship, and I would get a counsellor assigned to me helping me with whatever needs to be done.
That Christmas was so bizarre. I went to a homeless shelter, since I now had money to pay for the fare. There I met a man who had just come out of prison. He came to church with me. Three months later he finds me in church, yelling my name across the foyer, informing me how he had found a flat and a job and a church. I had spoken to him on boxing day as I saw him pray before eating his meal. Christmas I had helped, too, and was so dire touched by all the sadness welcoming me at the homeless shelter. I went home that night crying to God how it seemed that He was of no help to those people most in need. The next day God answered my prayer and probably many of his, too.
Christmas I bought sea food and Lindor Lindt Chocolates. It was the most magical Christmas. There are thousands of those stories. Yet, in the past eight years there has not been one single home run like that with God. No miracles anywhere to be found. Nada, nothing. Trust me, miracles are so fun. And often times in those eight years I thought I would die without a miracle. Yet, I am still here. Why do we sometimes hit a home run and other times we just stumble, having to eat dust off the ground? You know, I have absolutely NO IDEA. Only, If there ever is another home run, man, you will hear me cheer around the entire globe! Trust me! It’s the best there is!