Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Helping Hand

The first African-American to break through the color barrier in major league baseball was Jackie Robinson. His place in God’s puzzle is an important one. He opened the door for others who were always treated as inferior and he helped the white pieces of the puzzle to understand that everyone is equal.

Jackie had an amazing career but the beginning was shaky. He was jeered in every stadium he played in. The moment that defined his future happened in his home stadium in Brooklyn. He was standing on second base after committing an error. The noisy fans taunted him as he stood in front of them. He was alone and felt humiliated.

Then, team captain Pee Wee Reese approached him. Standing tall next to Jackie, Pee Wee extended his arm and put it around Jackie. Finally, the crowd hushed. A helping hand was all that was needed to keep Jackie in the game and to open the doors for many that would follow in Jackie’s footsteps. Pee Wee remained one of Jackie’s closest friends until Jackie was “called up” at the age of 53.

Maybe your helping hand can make a difference in the life of someone you are connected to? It takes courage to stand up in front of a crowd that is behaving improperly. It may not be popular to defend another who is alone and in distress. Stand up anyway. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Pee Wee did it for Jackie and Jackie did it for the world. Who will you extend your hand for?

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