In Part 2, I recalled my toughest act of forgiveness and that one way to enact forgiveness is to avoid any collateral damage to innocent bystanders that retaliation could unleash.
Today, let’s look at the mirror image of this discovery.
There was a terrific story in the Denver Post syndicated by the Associated Press on July 3, 2014, about “Carmelo Anthony’s Next Stop: Houston.”
In Denver we know Carmelo pretty well. After demonstrating his God-given spectacular basketball talent here for years, he tired of the city because his coaches demanded teamwork, while Carmelo plays mainly for himself and the bright lights of stardom. As a result, he never took the Denver Nuggets past the first round of the playoffs – championship basketball requires a well-oiled team, not one superstar. He left Denver as his welcome wore out, and has now completed the same act for the New York Knicks.
Now it may be Houston Rockets’ turn.
In sports, a professional player’s uniform number is considered personal and there are unwritten rules of conduct when a player joins a new team and there is already a player wearing his number.
The Rockets are excited about luring Carmelo to Houston, so they did a publicity blitz showing him in a Rockets uniform wearing the number seven, which happens to belong to the team’s existing point guard, Jeremy Lin. This dishonor was doubled because it was Lin’s own employer who broke the code of conduct
Most basketball fans know about Jeremy. From total obscurity just a few years ago, he rose to stardom as a member of the Knicks and was a fan favorite for his never-give-up playing intensity and his ability to involve all his teammates. But he was traded to Houston, perhaps because he did not give the ball to Carmelo enough times.
Jeremy Lin has been a big hit in Houston, but the publicity stunt for Carmelo informed Jeremy, who had to see it in the newspapers first, that his number seven would be given to Carmelo. This told Jeremy he would likely lose not only his number, but his job – again.
Jeremy’s response on the social media: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them…I’m entitled to stand up for myself and say I felt disrespected…but the point is love unconditionally as Jesus loved me.”
The mirror image of avoiding collateral damage is unconditional love, the common DNA of all true children of God – hard as it is sometimes – in both forgiveness and perfect unity.