A Game of Wiffle Ball

wiffle ball

Recently I was at a professor’s house for an end-of-semester party.  The evening sun, although it was setting, cast a warm and perfect golden glow through the trees. The weather was perfect and his backyard was large and inviting for a game of wiffle ball with our professor’s 8- and 10-year-old sons.  Teams were divided and makeshift bases set up around the yard, but between the little ones hiding them from us gullible college students and the too-competitive players sliding into them, they never stayed where they were supposed to be.

After a couple of strikes, my friend Samantha hit the ball with as much enthusiasm as she could muster, and the ball sailed across the yard to the neighbor’s dog, who was chained to a tree and looking for some excitement in his life.  It was an epic home run before the outfielders could wrestle the ball from his happy, salivating mouth.

Once in a great while, I experience brief glimpses of eternity here on earth that I can only describe as eschatological moments. Kingdom moments.

This was one of them.

As I sat on the porch steps with one of my best friends, sharing reflections on the beauty of restored relationship and new creation and watching our classmates laugh and play and interact with the younger kids, I saw it as though a curtain had been pulled back to reveal a new, and fuller, dimension of life.  It was somehow sacred, this seemingly ordinary game of wiffle ball.  It was fun and innocence and life, and it felt vision-like as I saw it through the eyes of eternity.

Our professor’s youngest son shouted at my friend Lincoln, “I’m gonna kill you!,” and everyone laughed at his absurdity.

And then, too, we will laugh at the idea of death because it seems so far from the lush springtime grass and the laughter of innocent banter and play. We will laugh because death has been swallowed up by life. And wiffle ball.

The pure fullness of life is a foretaste of resurrection.

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Kingdom Vision

For my Restoration movement class, I was required to write a brief paper on a concept that shaped the churches of Christ in America, and I chose to write about the evolution of apocalyptic theology in the church.  Apocalyptic theology is the beautifully radical worldview that chooses to live “in the shadow of the second coming of Christ” — by bringing kingdom values to earth and living as if the kingdom reality is already present here and now.  Throughout the years, this visionary mindset unfortunately fell by the wayside, but there is great beauty in living such a counter-cultural, kingdom-centered way.

Click on the link below to access the PDF:

Kingdom Vision: The Evolution of Apocalyptic Theology in the Churches of Christ