Seeing God at Yankee Stadium
When I caught a foul ball at a baseball game, I felt the divine presence—and it changed my whole life
After telling him the hardest thing I’ve ever had to tell anyone, I felt buoyant. I swear I heard thunderous cheers, as if I’d hit a walk-off home run.
I wish I could say my writing career turned brilliant from then on, like my life was a feel-good movie. It didn’t. Old habits die hard. On the other hand, I started taking more risks, working harder at being the writer I always envisioned. That voice from Dad, which implied my chosen career was impractical, grew fainter.
I still have that foul ball I caught nearly 30 years ago, tucked in a shoebox in my bedroom closet. I suspect I’m not alone among those who have totems like these hidden away, totems we can’t fully explain, though we try.
These days, I’m better at catching the saboteur who trips me up, my yetzer harah. As with catching a baseball, practice helps. And my father, to my surprise, has actually said he admires me, and he treats me less like his little boy, even though sometimes, despite everything, he can’t help himself and suggests that it’s not too late to join the family business.
When I think about catching that foul ball, I still feel in my heart that it wasn’t dumb luck; it was bashert, fate, that I caught it. I seldom pull it out anymore, this future heirloom no one but me really wants, but when I hold it in my palm, I do hear God’s still, small voice. It reminds me of that night and the lessons I’ve learned, ones I try to follow and ones I’ve tried to teach my three adult children: To stand up for what you believe. To look to the heavens now and again when you need help or courage. To claim what you dearly want in life. Even if sometimes, it’s just a soaring white ball.
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