“Have Hope”

Sometimes it’s hard to be hopeful. I’ve been a St. Louis Cardinal fan since I was a baby. I remember listening to their games with my dad in the early 1950’s from southeast Missouri. After the Cardinals celebrated my birth in 1946 by winning the World Series, the Redbirds took an 18 year sabbatical. During most of those years they were not good…. no they were actually lousy. Often  by the  4th of July, they were hopelessly out of the Pennant race. In 1955, they finished 31 games out of first place, 20 out in 1958, 18 in 1962.

During those tough years, Harry Caray broadcasted the games. Harry was a character. He loved the Cardinals and always brought hope, often to hopeless situations…. “You know if we get a couple of base hits, a double or two and a homerun, we’re right back in this game.” He loved Stan “The Man” Musial. I can still hear his voice… “ 3 balls and 2 strikes, Stan hits a drive…way back, it might be outta here, it could be…oh, just curved foul…boy that was close.” By the 7th inning stretch after a few Budweisers, Harry’s tie was loosened, he was sweating, and he would stand and lead the crowd in singing “take me out to the ballgame”. He had a terrible voice, but no one cared. Harry brought hope. 

Well, we can use a little hope today. We live in the epicenter of the CoronaVirus Pandemic in the U.S. We don’t live in Wyoming or Alaska. We live in New York/New Jersey. But regardless, our hope is not in our politicians, it’s not even in our medical profession …. our hope is in the Lord. God is in charge of our lives! 

I’m reading a book called “The Great Black Robes” to some of our younger grandchildren. It’s about Fr. Peter deSmet, a Jesuit priest who brought Christ to the  Indians of the Midwest and West in the mid 1800’s. Many times he was in danger of death from Indian attack, disease, starvation, and fierce weather, but he did not stop speaking about Christ and serving the Indians and others. He was fearless because he had placed his hope and trust in the Lord. In 1849 there was a severe Cholera epidemic in St. Louis, where “without warning the disease would kill very quickly… people dropping in the streets, clutching their throats with terrible groans”. Despite this Fr. deSmet ministered to the dying day and night. God protected him. God was in charge of his life. 

Well, God is in charge of our lives and our hope is in him. So let’s relax and smile… we’ll get thru this crazy time. 

And by the way …. in 1964 Harry Caray’s hope (and my hope) was finally rewarded when the St. Louis Cardinals again won the World Series ….. Holy Cow !!!

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