Watching a European football game highlights something unique. Signaling the answer to the ref as the ball goes out, with a handball or other infraction is not only acceptable it is automatic!
I can think of several reasons for the behavior – some provide reasons why the actions are helpful, others on why they says that referees cannot be trusted. As I reflect on my reaction after a hard fought game, I realized that my disappointment for my team was not directed at a bad call. As human as referees can be, in this game the outcome was fair. Neither side benefited from a bad call. There were no cheap shots, at least none that anyone saw or commented on. The refs had done their job. As the discussion with others went on long after the last whistle, I realized nobody was talking about an injustice.
Life is full of injustice. It can be found in life, mine, everyone’s that I know of. Pain hits those least deserving. Bad surprises are hidden round any corner. Listening to someone complaining about one injustice or another is a regular part of daily living. I can imagine a day without a complaint, yet I wonder what it would take for this to happen. When I look in the mirror, there is a simple premise at the heart of the perfect day. Someone would deal with every injustice. That same someone would help me in I was hit. I would know that they were helping others when they were touched.
As the day unfolds in my mind, cynicism kicks in and reminds me that it is impossible! Such a day could never happen. The reason lies in the fact that Life is not accountable.
David reminds me that Life is accountable, even when it does not seem like it. “You [God] blow the whistle on godless nations; you throw dirty players out of the game, wipe their names right off the roster.” (Psalm 9.5) Refs can and do make a difference. Letting them get on with their role is a start.