Eric Chiz couldn’t wait to get back on the baseball field.
A junior at North Carolina
A&T State University
and a catcher on the baseball team, Chiz sat out all of last season after
undergoing shoulder surgery. He had spent weeks working hard and rehabbing so
he could get back to playing the game he loves.
But in January, prior to the season’s start, Chiz got hurt
again — this time a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow that will
keep him out of action for about a year.
Another season gone for the baseball-loving Chiz.
“It felt like my whole world crashed down,” Chiz said about
the injury. “It took every bit of my power not to be angry with God. It was
something I didn’t understand, and I still don’t understand.”
A member of Burkemont
in Morgantown, Chiz attends Life
a Southern Baptist congregation in Greensboro,
while at college.
A men’s ministry at Life Community has helped Chiz work
through the “Why?” questions that have dogged him.
He also found encouragement from another source: St. Louis
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright, the ace of the St. Louis
pitching staff, got his own disturbing news recently when tests confirmed that
he had torn his UCL, just like Chiz.
Wainwright underwent a surgical procedure (known as “Tommy
John surgery”) to repair the ligament, but he’ll miss all of the 2011 season.
That news was a significant blow to Wainwright, who finished
second in Cy Young Award balloting last year. But in a blog posting, Wainwright
wrote about how his identity is first and foremost tied up in who he is as a
Christian, and not as a baseball player.
“This injury, the one that makes me miss an entire year of
baseball, has allowed me to stop missing what is right in front of me,”
Wainwright wrote Feb. 24.
“I am blessed with an amazing God. A God who continues to
teach me lessons in mysterious ways. I’m blessed with an amazing family. I’m
blessed with friends who really care for me, and I have felt it this week.
“And I’m blessed with teammates that started out as friends
and have become family,” he continued. “I believe this to be a test from God,
and it has opened my eyes. I believe I can still greatly impact God’s Kingdom
from this disabled list.”
Though Wainwright and Chiz have never met, Wainwright’s
testimony lifted the injured Chiz, who left a comment in response to
“When I saw that you had also injured your elbow I thought
to myself that if he can stay positive then so can I,” Chiz wrote.
“I believe that God uses times like these to test our faith.
So thank you for being a brother in Christ and staying positive.”
Chiz, who underwent his own Tommy John surgery March 10,
continues to wrestle with the reasons for the injury. But he has come to an
“It’s not our plans that matter,” he said. “It’s the plans
that God has for us that matter the most.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Ellsworth is editor of BP Sports and
director of news and media relations at Union
University in Jackson,
(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical
Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new
Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank
you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or
issues with items we run, please contact [email protected]
or call 919-847-2127.)