" You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35
There are very few family friendly TV shows during prime time these days. On any given Sunday night at 7 p.m., however, the Lantz family has usually gathered in our bonus room to watch one of our favorite shows, "Extreme Makeover--Home Edition" with Ty Pennington and his crew. Each week, Ty's group teams up with a building contractor to give a deserving family a new home. There is rarely a week we watch the show that my daughter, Jordyn, and I don't cry over the chosen family's story or their response when they see their new home.
Although all the shows I have seen have been memorable, there was one show that aired that touched me in a profound way. The story was about a young man who spent all of his waking hours in a wheelchair. His body was crippled, denying him the ability to play his favorite game of baseball. The closest he had ever gotten to experiencing the thrill of running the bases and belonging to a team was on the sidelines as a spectator in his wheelchair. His greatest desire was to belong to a baseball team on which anyone could play, regardless of his or her physical or mental handicap.
Ty and his crew not only built this young man's family a new, beautiful house, but a ball field as well. They organized a team of children whose physical or mental limitations had denied them the joy of running the bases. I was struck by the profound reaction of those who had built the field. Although the children's laughter and delight were incredible to see as they were pushed around the bases in their wheelchairs by those who were able-bodied, the ones who were pushing them were the most affected. One of my favorite people on Ty's design team is a man named Paulie because of his big heart. During an interview segment, he could barely talk through his tears as he recalled the day all the children got to play. The camera switched from his face to video footage of him scooping up a little child in his arms who could not run and becoming her legs as they ran around the bases. You would have thought from the joy on both of their faces that their run across home plate was the one that clenched the World Series title for the team. I wept from a place in my soul that had not been touched for a long time.
That is what my Jesus does for me. You see, I am the little girl who has no ability to run the bases. I am crippled and afraid. I, too, have not been able to participate because of my handicap. But Jesus never sees me that way. He stoops down and becomes my legs in this journey of life. He invites me to run the bases in His arms, which never stop holding me. In the place of my weakness, He shows His mighty strength. Thank you, Jesus, that you never exclude anyone from Your team. Our place is secured the moment we accept Your invitation to become part of it. We are all welcomed as You stoop down to make us great.