Monday, March 24, 2008

Mike Sweeney, DH, Oakland A's

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Mat 5:16

My friends and I went to a K.C. Royals game one night while we were spending the summer in Kansas City. The game was delayed because a couple groups of stadium lights were out. Players and coaches were just kind of standing around in their dugouts. Some were talking to guys on the other team, some were sitting in chairs facing the crowd watching the fans, others retreated down into the clubhouse to relax, and a few actually walked around and chatted with some of the fans.

My friends and I were enjoying watching the interaction probably as much as we would have enjoyed the game if it were being played. One of my friends pointed out one of the Royals players and said, "That dudes a Christian." I asked him how he knew that, and he told me, "Just look at him."

We focused in on this one player for the remainder of the delay. He took some time to chat with fans and he took a trip to the other dugout to talk with some of their guys. He wasn't doing anything that would make him obvious as a Christian. He smiled a lot and he seemed genuinely interested in everyone that he was chatting with, whether it was a little boy in the stands, a teammate, or a player from the opposing team. There was definitely something different about this guy as we compared him to the other players. It made me think: if someone was watching me, would they guess that I was a Christian?

Later that summer my friend showed me an FCA: Sharing the Victory Magazine and pointed out Mike Sweeney from the K.C. Royals. That's our dude, he was a Christian.

As I read Jesus's sermon in Mathew chapter 5 and I hear, "let your light shine before men..." I always think of Mike Sweeney of the Royals. He stood out. He was shining before men.

Video of Mike Sweeney's last game in Kansas City.
Video interview with Sweeney at A's spring training camp.