We could all use a little encouragement
Few, if any, have contributed more to the game than Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play major league baseball.
People attempted to break Jackie because he had broken baseball’s color barrier. He was jeered at every ballpark. Once, in front of the hometown Brooklyn fans, Jackie committed an error. The fans rode him and ridiculed him as he stood alone at second base.
Immediately, teammate Pee Wee Reese came over and put his arm around Jackie. Reese stood there with Jackie until the crowd was silent. The great Jackie Robinson later credited Reese with saving his career that day.
The New Testament records encouraging deeds performed by a kindred spirit of Pee Wee Reese. His name was Joseph, but the disciples called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. By his generosity, he encouraged the brethren in Jerusalem.
As a loyal friend, Barnabas introduced Saul to the apostles with the assurance that Saul’s conversion was genuine. Barnabas encouraged the transformation of Saul of Tarsus into the Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary in the history of the church.
It was Barnabas who forgave the timid deserter, John Mark and gave him another chance on the mission field. John Mark became a new man due in part to the encouragement of Barnabas.
We could all use a little more encouragement. Will you decide to be the next Barnabas or Pee Wee Reese?
• Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.