Have you ever been pulled down by someone who was hostile to you and wanted to do you harm?
Do you know how it feels to realize that someone wants to hurt you?
This past weekend I happened to be watching a basketball game when suddenly my eyes were
drawn to two players. Legs entangled. One player pulling at the legs of the other.
The other trying to get away from him but pinned.
I held my breath fearing what would happen.
Suddenly I saw the one player reach down and offer a hand to the other and help him to his feet.
The scene could have only taken a few second
but I will long remember that hand outstretched.
Sportsmanship at its best.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
Is it possible that we can change an enemy or someone who means us harm
into a friend?
As difficult as it is to believe,
I have seen it to be true.
When instead of reacting with anger and hurt, we work to understand the other person
we can literally rise above the conflict
and become peacemakers.
“How many of us have conflicts with someone else- and how many of us pray for that person? We have individuals with whom we are competitive, or whom we dislike or have a quarrel with; but very few of us have true enemies in the martial sense. And yet if Lincoln could pray fervently- and contemporary reports indicate he did- for the people who were opposing him, how much more can we do for someone we just find a little irritating?”
― John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring
Yes, prayer changes us
and as we pray for the person with whom we have conflict or disagreement
our hearts are softened and we can offer a hand of blessing.
Shining moments happen sometimes in the most unlikely places.
For just a second the cameras focused on these two basketball players.
One rose above the situation
and bent to offer a hand of help.
It never made headlines but it was so powerful.
I wonder, do I do the same? Would that have been me? Would it have been you?
Will you join me in praying fervently for those difficult people in our lives
and then take the next step in being the peacemaker?
And even though you might not make a friend of him or her,
you will have graced the situation with His Presence.