Chush is a school in Brooklyn, New York that caters to learning disabled children.
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of one student delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out,
“Where is the perfection in my son, Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection, but my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query.
“I believe,” the father answered, “that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
He then told the following story about his son Shaya:
THE DAY SHAYA GOT TO PLAY
The father and son walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me play?”
The father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. Nevertheless, Shaya’s father understood that if his son were to be chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. So the father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play.
The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands. “We’re losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning,” he told the father. “I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.” Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. A team member told Shaya to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again and now, with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was up to bat.
Would the team actually take a chance on Shaya to bat home the winning run? Everyone knew it was all but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it.
Yet as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up to Shaya so together they could hold the bat and face the pitcher.
Again the pitcher took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first! Run to first!”
Never in his life had Shaya run to first. So now he scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled: “Run to second! Run to second!” Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. Just as Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.” As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming: “Shaya, run home!” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate, and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders. They made Shaya their hero, as he had just hit a grand slam and won the game for his team.
“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”
Credited to Paysach Krohn