“Is the Easter Bunny a real bunny or a man in a costume?” ~ Ivy while playing “catch” in the backyard.
There are some questions I can not answer without rambling. Which is a good strategy – because no child can listen to their parents rambling, and instead they imagine the answer… After our conversation about the Easter Bunny Phoebe announced, “I don’t want the Easter Bunny to come to my house.” Considering the options – either a ginormous rabbit or a man dressed as a ginormous rabbit, Phoebe’s thought is the most rational thing I have heard in a long time. Of course most are hoping for his arrival… and irrational hope brings us to the Royals.
“…for it is waking that understands sleep and not sleep that understands waking.” – Perelandra by CS Lewis
Every Spring hope awakens inside. This year, as the Royals begin on Good Friday**, there is legitimate hope. The pitching is still in need of prayers, but the line-up is exciting. Not with potential, but expectations: Gordon, Hosmer, Butler, Francoeur, Moose… This really can be “our time” (Royals slogan). This can be the year the team finally breaks out of the doldrums… Of course some would say I am dreaming.
** Good Friday could be a sign of blessedness – if you did not know all that “Good” entails (plus I hope the calendar is not pointing to any signs – the home opener is the following week: Friday the Thirteenth).
“Thank you that the snakes are far away and that they won’t get me.” ~ Part of Phoebe’s nightly prayer – the only part that does not change.
As Royals’ fans, the last ten year have been difficult (last twenty?). Which has built in us a healthy dislike of the Yankees, but also a fear that our team will never be good. Anytime we start to believe, it feels like a “pipe dream” that might as well be flushed.** I imagine if the team started to win I would have a “pinch me” moment wondering if I was asleep! So, right when I start to get excited I recall Perez is hurt (as is Soria, though I am not so worried about the bullpen). Or I remember that our starting pitching staff is a question mark, with Bruce Chen as the lead… and yet a deep breath of the spring air and hope arises. Hope will not be denied. This is the year.
** Random, I googled “pipe dream” and it has nothing to do with plumbing. All these years I have been incorrect…
“Hope is the only thing more powerful than fear.” – President Snow from the Hunger Games
Hope is a surprising human trait. In some ways it makes humanity irrational, but we all have hope – need hope. We are no longer human when we lose the capacity to hope: to believe that good will come. We believe good will come even in our broken world. A world filled with the destruction of Pandora’s Box. But at the bottom of Pandora’s Box was hope. A reminder that things were once different. That things were once good. And a belief that things will be good again. To this we cling.
So it is not nuts to believe in the Royals. Instead it is an extension of what is good in humanity. Our capacity to believe in something better. To trust there is more than this current reality.
Of course hope in baseball is just a reflection. Like believing Good Friday is only opening day. We know that this day represents so much more. This day is a definition of Good that goes beyond pleasure, because it was the moment when hope was lost. Yet in the darkness hope was reborn. Resurrected. And became our Hope.
Trusting this Hope is what returns our humanity – our creation in God’s image.