Hitting the Curve Ball – This Girl Can Do It

It is commonly acknowledged that the hardest thing to do in sports is hit a baseball.  Hall of Famer Ted Williams was quoted as saying “I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sports is to hit a baseball. A .300 hitter, that rarest of breeds these days, goes through life with the certainty that he will fail at his job seven out of ten times.”

And the consensus of the pros is that the curveball is the toughest pitch of all to hit.

My friend Harriett Bohanan is the kind of person who can hit the curve ball! Now don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t actually stand in the batter’s box at home plate at Globe Life Field where the Texas Rangers play.  But she knows how to hit the curve balls that get thrown our way in life and we all have them.

Harriet’s family friendship dates back 20 years. We first met in 1999 serving together on the same church staff. Technically I was her boss. I would come up with some idea (and not all good mind you) and Harriett could bring that idea to life like nobody’s business. She was spiritual, smart, savvy and had a serious love of the game of baseball, especially the New York Yankees. Our families have attended countless professional baseball games, many with the Texas Ranger playing the Yankees. Lots of good memories and fun.

But life has not always been easy for Harriett. A few brush back pitches and curve balls have sailed her way. An unhealthy boss, or several (and not speaking of me of course) 🙂 a difficult marriage, single parenting three kiddos, returning to grad school as an adult, and being the stalwart friend and professional for all manner of human maladies.

But did I say this girl can hit the curve ball! Fast forward 20 years and a few weekends past our family was privileged to bask in the amenities of a “sweet” suite behind home plate at a Texas Rangers game. We were joined by twenty-ish others who are the staff and family of the successful mental health practice that Harriet founded in October 2016 called Spectrum Behavioral Health Group. https://www.spectrumbhgtulsa.com  

They define their mission as providing ethically sound and research based services to individuals who struggle with challenging behaviors and the caregivers who support them. In sharing her vision for SBHG, Harriet writes that she was “determined to start a company serving this population with a standard of ethics and care to those that traditional programs label ‘untreatable’.”

And that’s hitting the curve ball friends! 

In my nonprofit world  of Loving Community (and SBHG has chosen to support us as one of their charities) and in hopes of building on the teachings of Jesus, we would describe what Harriet and team does in the words from the Gospel of Matthew:

Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’“And I, the King, will tell them, ‘When you did it to these my brothers, you were doing it to me!’ ~ Matthew 25 TLB

Picking teams, I pick Harriett every time! Thanks friend for modeling for me how to get back up from the curve balls in life, dust yourself off and run the bases. When I think of you I think of the words of Maya Angelou, “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”

Live humbly and kind,

Jim

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