I’ve been going to professional baseball games and trying to get a souvenir baseball as far back as I can remember. A foul ball, a home run ball, or even a batting practice ball—anything would do.

I was taking in batting practice for the St. Louis Cardinals, and as I watched Mark McGwire and his teammates, I got to know a five-year-old boy who was also trying to get a ball. His name was James. He tried hard to pronounce the players’ names as he politely asked for a ball: “Mr. Timwin (Timlin), can I have a ball, please?”

Before I knew it, my mission became getting a ball for James. For about 20 minutes, I told him the names of the players who had a ball near the fence we stood behind, and the players turned and smiled as James tried to say their names. Still, no ball. Finally I told James he could have my ball if I caught one (I had been unsuccessful in catching a ball for almost 28 years, so that felt like a safe promise).

I wouldn’t be telling this story if you didn’t know what happened five minutes later. I caught a ball, and yes, I gave it to James.

I wonder how often God waits to give us something until we are willing to give it away?

Citation: Mike Herman, Illinois

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