Let’s Go Cubbies!

I’m from Illinois, but I’m not a Bears fan, or a Bulls fan, or a White Sox fan, or even a Cubs fan; but my brother is.

Regardless of the fact he’s lived in Arizona since he was four, he’s a diehard Cubbie.

I’m talking about for as long as I can remember, my little brother has sported around a Cubs’ hat, or jersey.

He’s gone to every Spring Training game since he’s had a job and could afford to take the day off.

He’s flown to Chicago, not to visit family, but just to see a game.

His children have probably all worn the same Chicago Cubs’ onesie.

Ex-girlfriend and ex- wife call to congratulate him on the Cubs success this year.

Yes, to know my brother, is to know he loves his Cubs. He’s not one who has suddenly come out of the woodwork like some long lost relative who’s heard you won the lottery.

He’s the real deal.

I told him recently, I’ve been watching the series. I started thinking maybe they had chance until the fourth game and their third loss. I went into the fifth game thinking they didn’t have a shot, but after a couple of runs I quickly got my hopes up.

He chuckled at me, “Oh, don’t do that, Kim. You never want to get your hopes up.”

He’s so funny. He has no faith in his team but he’s loyal to them just the same.

I guess after years and years of getting so close, but never close enough, can take a toll on you. A bit of a rollercoaster ride I guess you could say. Or maybe they’re just predictable. He know they won’t make it far. They don’t disappoint.

I’d like to say he is a believer of Christ, like he’s a fan of the Cubs. I think the ride is probably about the same. A bit of a rollercoaster.

Some days God shows up on time and saves the day, and sometimes he doesn’t.

Sometimes you’re left hurt and confused wondering what just happened. Did he even show up?

Sometimes it feels like you’ve hit it out of the park and sometimes you’re just walking around the bases.

It’s interesting though, whether I watch the Cubs play or not, they still do…

every year…

every year in Chicago since 1876…

even though they have only won two World Series titles; 1907 and 1908.

That’s a long time to be playing and not be winning.

It’s interesting because after all these years of letting their fans down, they’re still here. They still play.

So this leads me to believe my brother is capable of believing in something he doesn’t have hope in.

Whether the Cubs win tonight or not, he will still be a fan tomorrow.

I know this, because they’ve never even been in the World Series during his entire lifetime, and yet…he still watches them. He still roots for them. He still believes in them.

My prayer is one day God will show up in his life’s World Series and it will be a perfect game. No hitters. No batters walk.

He’ll be called out of the bull pin and my brother will see he’s got heat. He’ll see even though he doesn’t know what pitch he’s got up his sleeve, it’s going to be over the plate. God delivers. You can trust him. Dare I say he’s predictable?

And one day my brother can have hope in something he believes in,

year after year, after year, after year…

Yeah, that’s my prayer. That would be pretty cool. Cuz, you know, I’ve been a fan of my brother for a lot of years. His entire lifetime.

I can’t wait to watch that series too.

Wonderfully Made

My daughter approached her big brother at the sink, where he was brushing his teeth and combing his hair. She wanted a hug, but he nudged her away and told her to stop. She was being annoying.

I acknowledged that she could be, but it didn’t mean he had to be mean.

After listening to his argument I asked, “Then why, when I am nice to you, you are still mean to me?”

He had nothing to say right away. And then forcefully stated , “Because I don’t like when you give me compliments, either.” With his internal shields up, he was going into defense mode.

I see this happen daily. He’s hurting but he doesn’t want me to see he’s hurt. So he’s going to puff up. Become intimidating. And attack before I can.

My heart broke. I remember being where he is. I remember not liking compliments because I remember thinking, if you just knew me, you would know they’re not true.

So my heart was broken for two reasons. One, he doesn’t think I know him. And two, he doesn’t really know who he is, either.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. – Psalm 139:13-18

A few months ago my dad came to visit from Virginia. I hadn’t seen him in two years. I guess a lot of things have changed. In me particularly, I suppose. He kept asking,

“How did you turn into this person?”
“This person?”
“This is not the Kim I left two years ago.”

I couldn’t put into words then, but I knew it was because of God. I knew I had been transformed. I knew I was still transforming.

There is something that happens within you when you are accepted, when you are loved, even when someone knows everything about you. Especially when someone knows everything about you. All your secrets. All your flaws. All your insecurities.

It is transforming.

You start to realize this person will not hurt you. They will never turn their back on you. There is nothing you can say, that will chase them away. That the more you reveal to them, the more they delight in you. Their delight, brings you joy, brings you healing. It brings you comfort.

You find yourself wanting to be in His presence all the time. You feel safe. You feel protected.

And eventually, what others think or feel about you doesn’t matter. Not that you don’t care, but you don’t worry about it as much.

I particularly like the part of scripture that says, Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

This means, He knew I was not going to be perfect. He knew I was going to be absolutely wretched at times. He knew I was going to be arrogant. He knew I was going to fail. He knew I was going to hurt. He knew I was not going to do anything spectacular. He knew I was going to be me, and yet He loved me before I even existed.

I know this is true because the next line says, How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

My son, you are loved! I know who you are, because I know who your Maker is. I know who knitted you together in my womb. I praise Him because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

My prayer for you, is one day you will know who you are too.

Lord, wrap my son in your presence and never let him go. May he one day accept the compliments he receives as a reflection of the work You have done, rather than the hurt he feels. Transform him, as you have me. Let him feel the power of your love. Amen.