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"Hey Dude . . ." - by Rev. Weldon Bares

Back in the summer, I cashed in some air miles and flew to Los Angeles to see a Dodgers game. I had a really good seat for the game. It was all great, except for the guy who was sitting right next to me. He was probably in his mid-twenties and had obviously been drinking.

He started irritating me right away because he was so loud. He heckled the players on the Giants team with a loud sing-song voice right in my ear. “Come on La Stella (a Giants player), your batting average is pathetic!” “Hey, Belt (another Giants player), my grandma can hit better than you!” “We want a pitcher, not a glass of water!” I rolled my eyes so much, they almost got stuck in the back of my head. I was really getting irritated, in a Christian-kind-of way.

But during the 3rd inning, he pulled out a plastic bag that was filled with junk food that he smuggled into the game. He turned to me and said, “Hey, dude, you want a Snickers Bar?” I said yes, and just like that, we were friends. He told me where he was from and how many games he comes to every year. He told me his baseball predictions for the year. When he got up to get another beer, he said, “Hey dude, would you watch my stuff for me?” I said, “Sure, dude.”

You know, if we try, we really can let things go, even things that irritate us. My seat-mate took the first step in Dodgers stadium with the offer of a Snickers bar. I’m glad he did.

Scripture reminds us, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.” (Colossians 3:13) It even comes with benefits. I enjoyed the rest of the game . . . and had some good Snickers bars!

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