Friday, July 11, 2014

And Yet They Prayed

I have watched several of the World Cup games this past month including almost every game played by either the United States or Chile (BTW, congrats to both teams for advancing out of the group stage and giving good showings).  The most poignant moment for me, however, came at the end of the semifinal game between Brazil and Germany.

If you have been following the World Cup, you are likely wondering how a 7-1 blowout and worst defeat in World Cup semifinal history could hold the most poignant moment unless I am thinking of Klose's record-breaking 16th goal in World Cup games.  However, that is not the moment.

The moment came after the final whistle.  Brazil's embarrassment has just mercifully ended.  Most people would want to do the obligatory shaking of hands, hide their faces in towels, and walk to the locker room as quickly as possible.

But several of Brazil's players did something very different.  They dropped to their knees, bowed their heads, prayed, and crossed themselves before congratulating the German team and mourning their own loss.

How could they pray?  They just lost by six goals playing a sport in which four total goals in a game is "high-scoring."  They were the favorites to win it all.  They had not lost a "competitive" (read: major tournament) game at home in nearly 40 years!  They had every reason to be dejected and ignore or blame God for the loss.

And yet, they prayed.  On the field.  In full view of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

We will likely never experience a similar emotional experience, but we will be tempted to ignore or blame God during our times of trouble or embarrassment.  When it happens, can we include in the story, "And yet, we prayed"?

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