Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Josh Hamilton and the Comforting Spirit

On May 9th, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was a guest on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.  The occasion was his record-setting offensive performance the previous evening, going 5-5 with four home runs and a double, a feat never before accomplished in the American League.  Hamilton is not only well-known as a great hitter, however.  A recovering alcoholic and drug addict, Hamilton spent three years out of baseball completely, going in and out of rehab.  Now that he's back, the taunts from opposing fans often concern his substance abuse.  He suffered a brief relapse during this last off-season.  During the interview, Hamilton offered a stirring reason for his fortitude:

Tony Kornheiser:  Do you carry [the potential for relapse] with you every single day?  Does it ever even get into your head when you’re actually playing the game?
Hamilton:  No.  You know, the fans get in my…well, they don’t even get in my head anymore.  But they wear me out…they bring up…I’ll share real quick with y’all: I was in Minnesota…in the outfield.  I moved from center field to left field, and I’m just getting absolutely worn out.  I’ve gotten worn out over the years and just kind of dismissed it, but the Holy Spirit just hits me inside and says, “You know what?  You’re going through, right now, a smidgen, a minute tenth of a percentage of what Christ went through for you.  These are the scoffers.  These are people, out here, who want to take your weaknesses and throw [them] in your face, and tell you you can’t do it, or you’re not worth it, or you’re not good enough.”  And [the Holy Spirit] said, “This is [why] Christ died for you.  And he didn’t have any weaknesses.”
Hamilton doesn't claim that he no longer has a problem.  He doesn't assert that Christ has healed him, though he no doubt prays for just that.  He acknowledges his weakness, throws himself on the mercy of the one without weakness, and in so doing, finds strength.

Here's the whole interview:

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