She had never hit a home run in her life, being only 5 feet 2 inches tall. Sara Tucholsky played for Western Oregon and was involved in a conference championship double-header against Central Washington. Then it happened. She hit one over the fence with two runners on. This hit would propel Sarah’s team to win the game and the possibility of advancing to the NCAA play-offs. What she did not plan on was injuring her knee as she rounded first base. Sara tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and lay on the ground, hugging first base. According the rules of collegiate play, if her teammates touched her, it would only go down as a single, jeopardizing the game. Everyone froze.
That’s when Mallory Holtman, from the opposing team, got a bright idea. She asked the umpire if her team could pick Sara up, help her touch all the bases, then carry her across home plate. The umpire explained that there was no rule against that, though it would give the other team an additional run and the game. Without hesitation, Mallory and another teammate picked up their injured opponent and rounded the bases with Sara in their arms. There were a few cheers, but mostly tears as the opposing team decided to step up and do the right thing. What a statement of character!
Inside a chain-link fence, with fewer than 100 people looking on, a group of young college girls made a monumental decision. Their story is being told around the world. In a time when stories of selfishness and violence permeate the newspapers and airwaves, it’s refreshing to hear of this spontaneous generosity. These girls made a decision, laying aside their own desires and hopes of winning a conference championship. Ultimately, they left a legacy that will far outlive simply winning a softball game or even a conference championship.
Life is defined by some people in terms of wins and losses. Still others define life by decisions made in the tensions of an everyday journey that reveal a person’s true values. People of “The Way” were known in the first century as the ones who would “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile.” What do you want to be known for?
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” -John 15:12-13 (NKJV)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor