I used to live across from a ballfield. And I loved that ballfield–despite the fact that I do not really enjoy watching or playing sports.
The apartment I had was nothing to brag about. It was born out of an old motel, and it looked it. My neighbors ranged from kind to downright sketchy. Sometimes upon arriving home, I’d find them smoking weed nonchalantly on their porches–or so drunk they could barely slur out a hello. Did I mention we were conveniently located next to the police station?
On the other hand, my abode was right down the road from the quaintest Southern main street you ever did see, filled to bursting with antique shops, a coffeeshop with the best beans and treats, and a gun shop so terrifying I crossed on the other side of the street to avoid it. Ah, the joys of Southern life.
The ballfield and its small surrounding park brought enough green outside my window to keep me happy. During the day, kids and families would flood the park with yips, cheers and laughter as the cracking sound of bats and balls would slice through the air. I may not love baseball, but I will always love the sound of a baseball connecting with a bat.
However, I never joined the crowd to take in a game. For I loved the field most when the lights were dimmed, the crowds dissipated and silence reigned with a heavy hand. In these still and quiet moments, I’d venture from my car after a long day, breathing a sigh of relief at the calm. I’d climb the stairs to my home and then lean on the porch railing–sometimes praying, other times in wordless admiration. The riotous activity of the day seemed to make the stillness even more palpable. The night sky never looked a more perfect black and the stars never more certain of their brightness in those moments.
And I, in those fleeting yet everlasting seconds, felt my spirit settling into myself in a deepness never before encountered.
It is in the quiet where I most easily see God, hear God– and wherein I also more fully see and understand myself through Him. The confidence of my spirit, the life and person I was created to be, seems only truly accessible in those still fractures of time. So I take mental snapshots of those fragile moments, locking into my soul the sights, smells and air of the moment where I again found myself, in finding Him.
Then I return to the ticking clock, the demands of sleep, work or loved ones. I am changed, restored from the haze of lies the world has told me. Now, locked away to combat them is a secret–this small and sacred moment that none can take away. And it is enough.