That prayer reminded me of an article I read a couple weeks ago on www.worldmag.org by Marvin Olasky, "Hoops, Michigan, and Jesus." He tells of an event that occurred during the Kansas-Michigan game in the Final Four this year. Elijah Johnson, guard for Kansas, apparently struck the Michigan center in the groin area near the beginning of the game. The Michigan player fell to the floor, and Elijah Johnson was called for a foul. But then towards the end of the game, with a little more than three minutes left, Kansas had a ten point lead, but Elijah started to play really poor, so much so, he had three turnovers in the last ninety seconds. Marvin Olasky quotes CBS columnist with these words:
"Kansas lost. Elijah Johnson finished with 13 points, no assists against five turnovers, and a reputation that will follow him - the guy who punched the Michigan player in the testicles. Sometimes you get what you deserve."
Marvin Olasky then responded with these questions:
"Do we really want justice? Do we want condemnation before the world for our sins? If we get what we deserved for our omissions and commissions, our evil thoughts as well as our selfish actions, wouldn't our lives be hellish?"
Obviously, the Boston bomber did something much greater than "hitting a man below the belt." And yes, I agree that justice should be sought. But where does grace come in as followers of Jesus Christ? If Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you," should we only pray for justice? Maybe, we should pray for his heart. Pray that his heart will be softened. Pray that out of a softened heart he will not hurt anyone else, and pray that he will turn himself in. Even more, pray for his salvation in Jesus Christ.
Hurting people hurt people. I wonder what he experienced in his life that led him to try to hurt so many people. Pray for reconciliation: reconciliation to God; reconciliation with those people/the situation that hurt him; and reconciliation with those whom he hurt and the families of those he killed. Yes, justice should be done, but is that all we should desire? If you did something wrong, is that all you would desire?
Quote of article by Marvin Olasky, "Hoops, MIchigan, Jesus" www.worldmag.org. March 30, 2013