Pitcher's Perfection

Pitcher Matt Cain was perfect last night for the San Francisco Giants. Twenty-seven men came to bat against him; 27 men were retired.

First time that’s ever happened for a Giants pitcher.

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. Cain might or might not know this. I do.

And because of that, I celebrate with all of my heart when I see someone shimmering and shining and thus reflecting the Light of the World.

Few things move me more than seeing someone in his or her element – doing what he or she loves most – and have a moment like Matt Cain’s.

Bubba Watson did it this spring at The Masters. (He’s really, really not shining so far at the U.S. Open.)

But his Masters performance was a virtuoso. The golf shot that guy hit on the second hole of the playoffs is still being talked about in golf circles.

Eventually, Bubba putted it in from about 12 inches. And he falls apart. The weight of what he’s just done, the culmination of years of practicing and playing, brings him to tears.

A few minutes later, he’s talking about Jesus, on this Easter Sunday, to a national TV audience. That was simply icing on the cake to me. I knew what I was seeing, and I knew where it came from.

What is about Beethoven, Handel, or Bach that so many find deeply moving, even “a religious experience?”

When Usain Bolt runs 100 meters in 9.6 seconds in the Olympics, it’s majestic. When Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic play five hours on the biggest tennis stage in the world, and spend every ounce of energy they have, it’s glorious.

I am not a huge golf fan. But I expect to be drawn closer to God on every Masters’ Sunday. Because even if the winning golfer doesn’t know it – and Bubba did – and even if they won’t acknowledge it, the gifts of God are going to be on display on Masters Sunday.

Matthew 3:15, in the Message version, states:  “If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine!

My unspoken prayer that day, and again this morning, was something like this: “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation."

We need that joy to be restored on a daily basis because it is under assault by an enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Find the restoration of your joy in the Lord wherever you can.

A perfect game is as good a place as any.