Peter Gammons is one of the nation’s best writers and commentators on that sport/art/obsession known as baseball. It is worth reading his thoughts on the death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock. Hancock was killed in a car crash – an instant and staggering tragedy. It was one of those deaths that people intellectually understand when they say that life is fragile and we don’t know what the next moment will bring. But we don’t ever really grasp that knowledge, not really. We don’t because it is too terrifying for us to contemplate. To live with the reality of our mortality, with the reality that our beliefs about God will be proven true or false because we may find ourselves standing before him, to live that way is hard. It is hard because it doesn’t allow us to just cruise through life. That is why we don’t ever really think much about death – why accidents like the one that took Josh Hancock’s life are so jarring.
Back to Gammons. He had this to say:
What happened to Josh Hancock was tragic, and it is so random that it is virtually unimaginable in a world of men who envision themselves as bulletproof and invincible. They have to, by the nature of their work.
One prayer for us all is to remember that we aren’t invincible. That is a first step, I think, towards true faith because it acknowledges the most central truth of all…first, God.