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Unconditional Love

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

– Romans 5:8

Posting an impressive rookie campaign in 2019, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds is looking to continue contributing for his team in the 2020 season. A regular in left field for the Pirates, Reynolds has become a fan favorite for his ability to get on base and the huge plays he has been making both on and off the field.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, a driving force behind the success of Bryan Reynolds throughout his life has been his faith. Instilled in him from a young age, faith has been a guiding light in the life of Reynolds for as long as he can remember. After being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft by the San Francisco Giants, Reynolds soon found himself being a part of the deal to Pittsburgh that sent Pirates slugger Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco. Although a sudden change, Reynolds soon found an opportunity to contribute at the big-league level when was called up to the Pirates in early 2019.

As Reynolds quickly found success with the Pirates on the field, faith remained an integral part of his life. “Faith has influenced me in my baseball career by helping me have something firm to lean on during the ups and downs of a season.” Reynolds has also been careful to not let baseball take priority over his faith. “I don’t think baseball influences my faith because whether I go 4-4 or 0-4 Jesus still loves me the same.” That mentality for Reynolds helped spark an incredibly productive rookie season for him as he finished the year batting .314 with a .377 on-base percentage. While Reynolds finds success on the field, he is also making a huge impact off of it with the help of his wife, Blair.

Married in 2018, Bryan and Blair Reynolds have both experienced the highs and lows that accompany a baseball season. Despite the challenges, Blair has focused on staying positive no matter what happens on the field, saying “I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned is to just trust that God has it all figured out- whether we can see what is next for us or not. We both believe that all our days are planned and we try not to worry about the ‘low’ days that baseball brings, although that’s definitely challenging. We rely on each other a lot too. We just try and enjoy all the highs and lows together!” That same mentality of trusting God has translated into their marriage as well. “Faith has played a role in our marriage in a few different ways. I feel like Christians generally love others well because they understand the love that God has for them. In our relationship I think it’s important to us both to make sacrifices for each other and love each other unconditionally. In marriage you have to learn to forgive and that’s something that we learned the importance of in the Bible.”

As Bryan buttons up his jersey each day to take the field for the Pirates, there is a verse he holds central to his heart to remind him of who he is. Romans 5:8 which says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This verse has not only helped Reynolds to remember who he is, but Whose he is. “I love this verse because it shows the love that God has for us. Even though we are all sinners, Jesus still loves us enough to sacrifice himself and die for us.” That hope has driven Reynolds to take the field every day knowing that no matter the outcome, win or loss, he is playing for something greater.

Ethan Kruse

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