Robbery At A Cubs Game


Seeing Our Abundance, Helps Us See The Needs Of Others

by Eric Elkin

Elisha said, “Give it to the people so they can eat.”
— 2 Kings 4:42c

MSN shared a story and a video on their website about an adult fan taking a baseball away from a child. Chicago Cubs first base coach, Will Venable, walked over to a young fan and tossed a ball into his hands. The boy was caught off guard by the move and dropped the ball clearly intended for him.


The ball rolled underneath the seats and gave an adult sitting behind the boy an advantage. He quickly bent over and frantically searched for the ball. Once it was secured, he handed it to the woman sitting next to him. The little boy and his grandmother were left stunned and empty-handed. 


The MSN story also had links to other videos of adults robbing children of souvenir baseballs. Watching adults behave this way made me mad. Thankfully, a Chicago Cubs representative presented the boy with two balls to make up for his loss. One was even signed by the Cubs All-Star second-basemen, Javy Baez


This event was not some kind of high crime. The area where these fans were sitting costs $600 per seat. The little boy was not exactly a child in desperate need. Nor was the adult who frantically went after the dropped ball. The two different groups of fans probably spent $1,400 on this one game.


A fan robbing a child of a baseball is a poor comparison to a famine. Matter of fact, it is wrong on so many levels. However, the event revealed a poverty of spirit. In a world of abundance, why do people act like they are living in a time of scarcity? Fans fight each other and risk physical injury to grab a $23 baseball like it is the last one on earth. (In defense of the grandmother and boy, they did not appear that upset with losing out on the ball.)


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
— Melody Beattie

When I read about Elisha feeding a hundred people with twenty loaves of bread, I wonder how much was a miracle and how much was merely sharing. It has been my experience when limited resources test groups of people, they willingly share. Often people realize what they need is entirely different from what they want. 

A poverty of spirit forms among those who are blind to their own abundance. As I watched the video of the man scrambling for the ball, it is obvious; he doesn’t even see the child. His reactions recorded on video, though, will force him to see how he might have acted differently. I’m confident he will experience criticism from friends who also watched the video.

People who see their abundance are more apt to see others poverty. Formed by gratitude, they also tend to have a healthy spirit and a more vibrant life. Rarely do they face criticism for their actions. Elisha’s words, “Give it to the people so they can eat,” are an invitation to see both the gift and the need. And, in the end, to see life.

(Note: On the way to work it was reported the adult fan who "robbed" the child of a ball, actually had helped the child get a foul ball earlier in the game. Still, a lot of commotion over a $23 baseball.)

Click to read 2 Kings 4: 42-44

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you measure your abundance?
  • What do you lack and is that lack a want or a need for living well?
  • Where is God involved in providing for your needs?
  • How can you grow in developing a spirit of gratitude?

Like it? Take a moment to support Ordinary Voices on Patreon.


More for you . . .

From the blog . . .


Share to Care