As I write this I am sitting in the Miami Airport after a long day and night of delays and canceled flights, trying to get to Santo Domingo for a meeting. So I am not sure I am in the right frame of mind to write about mercy and forgiveness but here it goes.
If you are a baseball fan you are aware of what happened Wed. evening when the Detroit Tigers played the Cleveland Indians. Armando Galarraga had 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and 1 to go to not only complete the no hitter but 1 out to complete a perfect game. That means no batters reached base at all. No hits, errors or walks. To put that in perspective, there have only been 22 of those in the history of the game. To put that in perspective 30 teams play 162 games a year and they have been playing for about 100 years and there have only been 22. A rare feat indeed.
Jim Joyce, an umpire with 20+ years of experience, was at first base. A sharply hit ball went toward first base. Galarraga covered for a close play at the bag. The umpire called the runner safe but after replay it was discovered that the runner was out. The 23rd perfect game should have been recorded but instead this historical event went away on a blown call.
There is a lot to learn from the story. But, the most important thing is how Armando Galarraga responded to the call. He could have blown up, thrown a fit on the field, called for the umpire to resign or be fired, asked for an inquiry or much more. All of which by the way Detroit Tigers leadership, fans and TV and radio talking heads did. Instead Galarraga displayed his character by showing Joyce, who admitted that he blew the call and cost Armando the game, mercy, forgiveness and grace.
We as Christians can learn a lot from Armando. The gospel message is a message of mercy, forgiveness and grace. It is the message that Armando drew for us in his response to Joyce. May we seize the opportunity to reflect that same attitude and character as we respond to this world. I don't know if Galarraga is a Christ Follower but he sure looked like one on Wed. night. I hope we look like one too.
Now off to smile at the AA employee as I try to get on stand by. Mercy! Grace! Forgiveness!