Babe Ruth was a man who was bigger than life.
With powerful strokes of the bat, he hit 714 home runs in his career. His historic trade to the New York Yankees from the Boston Red Sox is legend.  The Big Apple even built a house for folks to come and see him.  But at the end of his career, he was traded to the lowly Boston Braves.  
At one game in Cincinnati his last season, he struck out and then took the field fumbling plays that resulted in the Reds scoring five runs.  Finally, the agonizing inning ended as he walked toward the dugout.  The jeers, boos and raised fists of the crowd caused Ruth to look dejected as he slumped along.  
Suddenly, a young boy jumped onto the turf running up to the Bambino with tears running down his face and fell at his feet. He grabbed him around his legs startling the legend.  A hush had fallen over the stadium.
The Babe picked up and hugged the young fan and then had him stand next to him. Ruth patted him on the head and took his hand as they walked off together.  The jeers were silenced by tears and turned into cheers. That boy saw a man that he admired and loved even though he wasn’t having a great day.
Proverbs 18:24 (TLB) says, “There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Folks are quick to criticize and turn away when things are bad and mistakes have been made.  
But Jesus calls us to be like that young boy and be a brother (or sister) who loves our neighbor showing mercy to those considered “failures” in our world.
Ken Locke is community ministries director of The Salvation Army in Warsaw and director of the Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association. Have ideas for this column? Go to www.gwma.info.