On August 5th, Jack Hannahan, third baseman for the Cleveland Indians, walked into the delivery room at 3:11 a.m., just fifteen minutes before the birth of his first son. Weighing in at 2lbs. 11oz., the premature birth of little Johnny turned out to be a miracle, and so did his father’s amazing journey home.
The Cleveland Indians had just finished a game in Boston when Jack received notice of his wife going into premature labor, but after checking for flights back home, all hope of seeing his son’s birth seemed to fade away. There were no flights from Boston to Cleveland until the following morning. His wife had already been through a month of bed rest — the due date wasn’t until Oct 26th – and the worst possible outcomes flooded Jack’s mind. Those same thoughts washed over Jack’s teammates as well.
The desperate news travelled through the entire clubhouse until nearly everyone was huddled around Jack. He had to get home. He had to get to his wife and son.
The only solution seemed to be the possibility of chartering a private jet from Boston to Cleveland, but the cost was going to be about $35,000. Even though Jack is a major league baseball player, he’s only making the league minimum. For him, $35,000 on the spot was overwhelming and simply too expensive, but not for the rest of his teammates.
What happened next was as if it was a scene right out of Acts 2. Practically every teammate chipped in until the $35,000 was met and Jack was on his way home with renewed hope. He literally arrived with minutes to spare.
These types of compelling stories are what can give us glimpses of the renewed hope and rescue we find in the most compelling Story of all. I doubt that every Cleveland Indians player is a Christian or that the New Testament was referenced when they realized Jack couldn’t afford the private jet. But nonetheless, each player knew what needed to be done and there was no doubt in their minds it was the right thing to do.
In the truest sense, Jack’s teammates reenacted the gospel.
Where Jack found despair – his teammates delivered hope.
Where Jack was weak – his teammates were strong.
When everything seemed like failure – the situation was redeemed.
Most people see these types of stories and events as heartwarming and happy-ending, but those who are in Christ should see more than that - they should see glimpses of the gospel.
What other stories have you heard or experienced where the gospel was reenacted?
Has there ever been a time in your life where you wished you could have chartered a private jet?