Imagine … you are a little boy or girl. You are trying to keep up with kids around you, but you can’t. Other kids are teasing you or bullying you because you have a disability.
Why is the world so imperfect? Why are there, people with severe disabilities like Down syndrome, blindness and deafness to name but a few?
Young Frankie sustained brain damage at birth. He also had a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe.
He badly wanted to play softball with the other boys at school. Because of his motor coordination difficulties Frankie could not really play with the other boys.
But it meant a lot to him, and we asked the boys if they would like to include them in their team.
The boys hesitated for a moment before saying yes. The fact that their team was losing made the decision easier. Nothing Frankie could do was likely to affect the outcome anyway. Frankie was given a mitt, and went to stand in short centre field as his team's tenth player.
Frankie’s turn came. Frankie was handed a bat and pointed to the plate.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing.
The opposing team saw that Frankie couldn’t even begin to play, and the pitcher moved closer to him and pitched the ball in a way Frankie could have a chance to hit it.
He missed the ball. One of Frankie’s team mates then came to help him hold the bat to help him hit. And he hit the second ball just a little way.
The pitcher then pitched the ball way to the right. Frankie’s teammates yelled: “Run Frankie! Run to first!” Two of his teammates started running with him to help him and to cheer him on.
A player on the opposing team tracked the ball, and then intentionally threw the ball out to the other direction. By this time, both teams were chanting “Run, Frankie, run!” Frankie reached second base.
Ball forgotten, all players from both teams joined Frankie on his triumphal run home, and together they hoisted the hero onto their shoulders. Frankie was beaming.
This is why the world is imperfect: To give us the chance to achieve spiritual perfection. All the boys achieved spiritual perfection that day in accepting someone who isn’t like them and who would normally never have a chance to play in a softball game. If it wasn’t for Frankie, they never would have.