There's no crying in baseball.
So, I pinched a nerve in my back moving a big screen tv. Not fun. So, with limited range of motion, I figured I'd take it easy in the first annual Softball Game for Baptist Supremacy in Murphy on March 4th (i.e., our exhibition game against Murphy Road Baptist Church).
My wife, however, tends to be the more realistic one and in no uncertain terms informed me that I was showing the wrong side of the fine line between courage and stupidity by playing at all.
Well, I tried to save back strength by not warming up and I could hardly swing the bat. I knew I was going to be hurting the next day.
Well, by God's grace I didn't have to dwell on my back that night. Instead, I had other issues. Earlier, rather than later, in the game a ball took a bad hop to me at second base that hit my hand. I fielded the ball nonetheless and made the throw, but then the pain set in. I tried to "shake it out" and then realized I was squirting blood everywhere, apparently all over my face as well.
Although I keep my fingernails rather short, the ball hit my ring finger just right so that it bent it back to where there was a significant gap between the nail and its former place of residence. I couldn't get the thing to stop bleeding until I put some liquid bandage stuff on it the following night.
My hand really started to swell, so I took off my Aggie Ring, moving it from right hand to left. (As I finish this post over a week later, I still cannot replace my ring.)
I said all that to say this ...
People respond differently to such events. Some teammates wondered why I was holding up the game; others showed me the ball smeared with my blood. The opposition shared their first aid kit. My boy was there and, when he saw the carnage, just put his thumb in his mouth and stared at the blood dripping on the cement. When I got home Rachel asked me if I cried. Of course, I informed her that there is no crying in baseball, or its cousin, softball. My wife, of course, gave a gracious, but knowing "I told you so" look and a "When will he learn, Lord?" headshake as she went back to her business. Me, I'll likely lose the nail and that will be a reminder of the lesson I'm supposed to learn, but as a slow learner I'm not sure yet what the lesson is.
There was no crying that day (though we almost did after we earned the "L" and not the "W"), but my paw certainly did hurt. I mean, it really hurt. I had to sleep with a padded glove because the slightest bump would whip me beyond all measure. Allegedly, there are a lot of nerve endings in that region. Apparently the paper towel that I wrapped it in Sunday morning was a distraction while gesturing during my sermon.
Such a small ailment can really humble you when you can't grip anything or lift much. I don't think it's infected, but that may just be my wishful thinking since I never actually had a doctor investigate. Yet, I had a whole congregation of nurses on Sunday who gave me lots of theraputic advice, which I've heeded (except the recurrent, "Uh, have a doctor check that thing out."). Through it all, I better appreciate my human frailty and the strength of God and the genuine benefits of the Christian community (i.e., the church).