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If you’re a Chicago Cubs fan, I would understand if you didn’t want to read anything else after the phrase Steve Bartman.
On the verge of making the World Series for the first time in nearly a century, the Cubs began to falter after Steve Barman, a Cubs fan, stuck his hand out to catch a foul ball in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
The only problem was that it probably could have been caught by a Cubs player, if Bartman and several other fans weren’t in the way, which could have gotten them one step closer to the World Series.
The Cubs went on to lose the lead, the game and the series, while Bartman became the scapegoat.
The fans and the media quickly pointed the blame on this young man, who was scared for his life.
Needless to say, Steve Bartman wanted to get away like the people in those Southwestern Airlines advertisements.
I’ve been there, Steve.
How I Became The Scapegoat On A Particularly Unhappy Day In My Life
It’s been about five years now, but I was in one of those wrong place, wrong time kinds of situations where something bad happened and I took the rap for it.
I was teaching Sunday School and we took the kids outside to play.
There was a swingset and one of the kids asked me to push her on it.
This swing wasn’t the sit down kind of swing, but rather one where the kid holds onto a couple of straps and swings like a monkey.
Naturally, she gets to a certain height and decides that it would be fun to jump off at the apex of her forward motion and land ever so gracefully on her face, with hands extended.
She brushed herself off and moved along, as did I.
Later in the day I am informed that the fall actually broke this eight year old girl’s arm.
Guess who wasn’t happy about it?
Oh, no, not the kid. She liked me.
Oh, no, not the dad. He knew “these things happen to kids”.
It was the mom.
Have you ever upset a mother by partaking in the injury of that child.
Steve Bartman was lucky. He only had the north side of the city of Chicago upset with him. I had an angry mother on my hands.
Was it my fault? Well, I didn’t tell the girl to jump, but she was my responsibility, so I took the fall.
What To Do When You Are Being Blamed
I talked to people in the following order about the situation: the best man in my wedding (who told me what happened), my pastor (because I was informed at a prayer meeting), the dad (because I happened to see him the next day), the mom (because she picked up the phone when I called) and the little girl (because she was the only one I really felt bad for and the one who didn’t even think for one second to blame me).
I apologized to all of them. Every single one of them.
You know what it cost me? My pride.
You know what I gained? Relief, Forgiveness and closure.
It isn’t always about being right and justifying yourself.
To this day I don’t really know if I should have felt bad for pushing a kid on a swing, it sure seemed innocent enough, even though the outcome was a broken arm.
What I do know is that there would still be hurt feelings long after the bone had healed if I hadn’t been humbled to the point of asking forgiveness.
Restoring a friendship is more important than justifying yourself. Tweet This!
Have you ever…just wanted to get away?
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