At first I felt bad for them
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Along with most viewers watching the Olympic pairs figure skating last week, I was stunned by the controversial judging decisions of that wonderful performance by Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. I'm no skating judge, so I don't really have a right to ascertain the appropriateness of everyone's scores, but the tears on Ms. Sale's face showed more than disappointment.
Clearly, those tears were falling because she felt victim to injustice. It was gratifying, however, to see her, her partner, and all of the crowd stand, applauding for their primary competitors, Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya. And it was good to see both sets of competitors finally be awarded gold medals.
No doubt there is not one person reading this who hasn't felt victim to - and even shed tears over - injustice. But there is something that can lift that weight off your life. There is a law of God that renders injustice impotent. This law is described in the Bible: "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28).
The first time I learned how this law works was when I was a freshman in high school. My favorite sport was baseball, and although I was not very tall, I played all the time and was constantly bothering my friends to come practice with me. I tried out for our high-school baseball team, and to my great joy, I made the team. I'll never forget standing with all my teammates as our coach handed out the uniforms.
A few days before our first game, one of my former Little League coaches called and asked if I would do a demonstration for some kids. I was happy to do this, but as I was teaching those children, a thrown ball hit my hand and injured my finger. When my high-school baseball coach saw my finger, he said, "Well, from the looks of that injury, I don't think you'll be able to help our team this season. Here, turn in your uniform, and I'll give it to a player who will be able to perform."
After school the next day, I watched the bus leave with all my former teammates on their way to their first game. I felt so bad. The injustice of such an accident really threw me. All I had been doing was trying to help some children. And now I was off the team. It didn't seem fair.
I remembered reading in the Bible about a person who, even though he was always trying to help people, was confronted with injustice after injustice. This man was Joseph, and after his brothers threw him in a pit, some other people found him and made him a slave.
Even as a slave he tried to help people; yet he was unjustly accused and thrown into prison. I was surprised to read that he even helped people there. A former prisoner who served the king of Egypt told the king about this amazing person, Joseph. When the king needed help, he asked Joseph. And Joseph was able to help the people of Egypt survive during a drought that lasted several years.
I was impressed to see how God's law had operated in Joseph's life. Each instance of injustice only served to spring Joseph forward. All things worked together for good despite injustice. Why? All things worked together for good, because Joseph loved God, good.
I could see how this same law applied to me. I was glad to learn that my love for God could help me, too. A few days later, my finger was healed, and I tried out for, and made, a semi-pro baseball team. We traveled all around my state, and I played in many more games than I would have on my school's team.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote, "The human sigh for peace and love is answered and compensated by divine love" ("Message to The Mother Church for 1900," pg. 11). Whether injustice appears in the form of figure skating judges' controversial decisions or in forms much more insidious, yielding to God's law means that injustice often serves as a springboard to higher and better opportunities to love, accomplish more, and even help the world.
What doth the Lord
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?