God Knocking at my Door

I knew something of the upside and downside of glory. I grew up a Chicago Cubs fan in the late 1960s. Their entire infield made the all-star team one year. Randy Hundley, the catcher, was a personal favorite.

One day the phone rang. A neighbor, a girl in my class at school, got my mother on the phone.

"Mrs. Ortberg, you'll never guess what. Randy Hundley is at my house! I told him John lives next door. He wants to come to your house. Wants to see John."

Then something went terribly wrong.

My mother did not know who Randy Hundley was. Like the Pharaoh who "knew not Joseph," she had never heard of him. She thought he was some kid I went to school with, who wanted to come over and play. My mother said:

"Johnny is at piano lessons. You'll have to tell Randy he can come over and play some other day."

My mother was a pea-brain.

When I got home, my mother told me somebody named Randy Hundley had been next door, had wanted to come over, and she told him maybe some other time.

I wanted to call the social services people. Take my mother away.

That afternoon I was in a deep depression. Around 5:00 there was a knock on the door. When I answered it, there stood Randy Hundley. Major league baseball player. All-star. I beheld his glory-the glory of a professional catcher, full of power and a strong right arm.

He had stopped by our neighbors' before a speaking engagement, which is when my friend called. After he had finished speaking, although he was a major leaguer with a busy life, he decided to make a stop before he went home to Chicago.

He came all the way back to our neighborhood. He tracked down my house. He knocked on my door. "1 didn't want you to take it out on your piano teacher," he said. He encouraged me to keep following Christ. He gave me an autographed baseball. (Which my mother seems to have thrown away, probably to make room for my sister's rag doll. At any rate, I can't find it.)

To a ten-year-old kid, the glory of Randy Hundley wasn't that he had a Howitzer for an arm. It wasn't that he caught Ferguson Jenkins and Kenny Holtzman, or that he hit long home runs off Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan. Glory was that someone as important as he was would take the time to come to the home of a little kid. Glory was that one day he laid aside his glove and bat and came knocking on my door. One day, he came just for me.

"The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory," John wrote. We beheld his glory when the Lord of all voluntarily submitted to his mother and father in all things. We beheld his glory when the Maker of heaven and earth used a saw and a hammer and nails to fashion chairs and benches. We beheld his glory when the Lord of hosts girded himself with a towel and carried a basin and washed the feet of his followers. We beheld his glory when the Author of life died on a cross. We beheld his glory when death could not hold him, the tomb could not imprison him.

We behold his glory still when he comes to ordinary, fallen human beings. For the glory of God is not just his power and might and majesty. His glory is that he would come to this corner of the universe, to this insignificant planet, to a ragged people he could not bring himself to discard. His glory is that one day he laid aside his majesty and bliss and came knocking at your door. One day, he came just for you.

Ortberg, John. Love Beyond Reason. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, p. 210-211.

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