Last night we watched the Home Run Derby; it didn't take long for Josh Hamilton to emerge as "the man".
Given his story, Dirt and I figured that he was a Christian; his transformation, followed by his success and humility had Jesus written all over it.
It's funny, just last Sunday in church I looked around and noticed a bunch of "hard looking guys" scattered throughout the congregation. I smiled. The tattoos on the back of their necks, "love and hate" on their knuckles, pierced ears, ripped t-shirts, disheveled hair, wallets with chains attached to them. Good stuff. I love seeing them in church sitting next to old men in their jackets & ties and upright families (who dress up for church). These guys usually have the best stories, and hearts full of gratitude. They remind me of the twelve.
"Hamilton's struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He finally got clean after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt. Hamilton says he hasn't used drugs or alcohol since October 6, 2005. When giving a brief summary of his recovery Hamilton says simply "It's a God thing." He does not shy away from telling his story, speaking to community groups and fans at many different functions. He frequently and publicly tells stories of how Christianity has brought him back from the brink and that faith is what keeps him going. His wife Katie sometimes accompanies him, offering her perspective on his struggles as well. To go along with the provisions of MLB's drug policy, Hamilton provides urine samples for drug testing at least three times per week. Rangers' coach Johnny Narron says of the frequent testing: "I think he looks forward to the tests. He knows he's an addict. He knows he has to be accountable. He looks at those tests as a way to reassure people around him who had faith." Hamilton approaches the plate at Texas Rangers home games to the song "Saved The Day" by Christian group Phillips, Craig & Dean."
His favorite verse: "Humble yourself before God. Resist the devil and he'll flee from you." James 4:7.
It makes me laugh when people think that being a Christian is "too restrictive", if they only knew that Christ is freedom!