Perhaps you’ve seen the 1989 fantasy movie, “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner. It’s about a novice Iowa farmer who starts hearing voices to build a baseball diamond in his corn field. The voice keeps saying, “If you build it, he will come.”
He eventually does build the baseball field and to his great surprise, the 1919 Chicago White Sox show up.
The “Field of Dreams” movie, however, is not really about baseball, it’s about reconciliation. As a brash young teenager, Ray Kinsella (Costner) causes a big rift with his father when he said he could never respect a man who admired the 1919 Chicago White Sox and stopped playing catch with his dad. Ray’s father died before they reconciled.
Growing up in Cuba, Lázaro never heard of “Field of Dreams”. The first time he held a real baseball and mitt was when he was 14 years old. Until then, he had to make his own balls out of rags and used a worker’s glove for a mitt. His father had abandoned the family when he was a child and his mom followed the Santería cult. Most would agree, Lazaro didn’t have much of chance in this world.
But Lázaro loved baseball!
At the end of the movie Ray discovers why the voice led him to build the baseball field. One night, among all the White Sox players, Ray sees his father, John. You can sense a longing for reconciliation. John is about to leave when Ray utters the words that break through so reconciliation can begi
“Hey Dad, do you wanna have a catch?”
Lázaro’s life hadn’t turned out the way he had hoped. His dreams of being a professional baseball player never came true — not even close. He was now an adult and struggling to find purpose in life. Though he really didn’t understand it, he also had a deep longing to reconcile with his father…his Heavenly Father.
One ordinary day when Lázaro was walking down a street, he heard music coming from a church. It was as if Jesus said,
“Hey Lázaro, wanna have a catch?”
To his surprise, he walked in. And on that day, he met Jesus. In God’s grace, he was reconciled to the Father and a new life was born. As his faith grew, he was challenged by his pastor to start a baseball ministry for children in surrounding churches. “They need a coach and someone to tell them about Jesus.”
So it was that a new ministry was born in Cuba. And LOGOI gained a new national missionary to help and encourage along his journey. He joyfully says, “My dream of being a professional baseball player never came true. But today I’m on my dream team…God’s team… the greatest team of them all.” Today, Lázaro has established baseball and sports camps in over 30 churches and he has led dozens to “have a catch” with the Father.
Lázaro is also the subject of our newest children’s book, “Lázaro’s Dream Team.” It is available in English and Spanish. And with a book purchase, a Teaching Lesson can be downloaded to add more discussion about God’s love for children.
“Field of Dreams” ends with Ray and his father tossing the baseball back and forth. They are “having a catch;” reconciliation had begun. I love that scene. I can’t help but be reminded of what Christ has done for me. It’s a picture of love and grace, words cannot describe. He’s asking us the same question…
“Do you wanna have a catch?”