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One pastor's toughest call.

One pastor's toughest call.

He's never really asked for much. He's not the kind of boy who thinks about what you should get him for his next birthday or how much you owe him. He is happy with a hug and an occasional wrestling match with Dad.

That's what made the whole thing so ugly. If he were the type of kid who nagged or complained all the time, it wouldn't have been so traumatic.

In the spring of '89, he asked for one thing: he wanted to play little league baseball.

His request surprised me; he wasn't particularly overpowering at the plate or nimble in the field. Surely, I thought, he'll change his mind after he realizes his brother wasn't interested in playing this year. But no, he still wanted to play.

"No problem," I told him. "You can play ball this year."

I smiled along with his mom as he ran down the hall clapping and laughing. He was surprised and excited when I took him to Costco to try out the aluminum bats and leather gloves (he hadn't thought to ask me to buy him a bat and glove). ...

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