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Perfection is in the eye of the beholder - Make a Difference

People always say how mean kids can be, not often how nice they can be. This story will either make you cry, give you cold chills or just leave you cold, but it puts life into perspective!

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the school's students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school & its dedicated staff, he posed a question. "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son Shay cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is God's plan reflected in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself & it comes in the way people treat that child."

Then, he told the following story:
Shay & his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" Shay's father knew that the boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field & asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands & said, "We are losing by six runs, & the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team & we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove & played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs & the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next to bat. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture & give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps forward to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came & Shay swung clumsily & missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball & hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the ball & could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out & that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball & threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first, run to first" Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed & startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high & far over the third baseman's head. Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home.

As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, & shouted, "Run to third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, run home!" Shay ran home, stepped on home plate & was cheered as the hero for hitting a "grand slam" & winning the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine Plan into this world."

And now, a footnote to the story: We all send thousands of jokes through e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing. The crude, vulgar & sometimes the obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of decency is too often suppressed in school & the workplace.

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