If you haven’t seen the little girl who threw back her dad’s foul ball catch at the Phillies game last night, then maybe you’ve got your head buried in a hole in the ground.

It really struck me when I watched the national news tonight.  The man reporting this story commented that, among multiple stories in recent days of a lack of civility in public, this was a story of a man who felt that it was most important to make his daughter feel loved.  No lost tempers.  No comments of “Look at what I just lost – poor me.”  Just a hug for his little girl and “That’s okay.”

I’m not trying to make this more profound than it really is, but I believe we should observe social reactions to stories like these.  Because I think that the reason people love this story is because they see a father who cares about his daughter more than a baseball he’s waited years to catch.  I think there are a lot of parents who could relate to watching a child innocently do something that you just can’t take back.  And I think that society finds it refreshing when someone demonstrates that people are more important than stuff.

This man is not the only father who has welcomed a child into his arms after she’s done something wrong.  He’s not the only person who has ever had a very personal reaction in public. 

He’s just the one who reminded us how we should respond when these things happen.

He’s the one who showed us that that baseball we’d always waited for wasn’t really such a big deal after all.

He’s the one who reminded us what Fatherhood truly is.

And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  (Luke 15:20, NLT)