“You practically nursed race prejudice from your mother’s breast.”
– Branch Rickey in the movie “42”
“In the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight…”
– John Eldredge in Wild At Heart
If you haven’t seen the movie “42” yet, you should. It’s inspiring, challenging, and heart-wrenching all at the same time. The movie follows the story of Jackie Robinson, which is a story full of evil yet pregnant with hope.
For those of you who don’t know Jackie’s story, Jackie Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball player to step onto a major league baseball diamond – a diamond lined with prejudice. But in the movie, Jackie never fights back against his antagonizers, at least in the traditional fisticuffs way. Instead, he honored his team, his family, and his God by turning the other cheek and hammering the ball out of the park or by stealing another base.
But my main takeaway from the movie wasn’t a desire to play professional baseball (not that I’ve been asked). Instead, it was to figure out what battles are left to fight. Here’s what I mean by that. In Wild At Heart, John Eldredge talks about every man’s need to be a part of a battle. He says that it’s part of a man’s nature, and that men will not live fulfilling lives until they are part of a bigger battle or story.
In the movie, Jackie had a battle to fight. In fact, his entire team had a battle to fight. And our history is full of countless stories of men and women fighting racism.
But what battles are left today? Where is injustice showing its ugly face? Who are the people you and I should stand up for and defend?
There’s one more important point to all of this. At the time, millions of Americans thought racism was godly – sadly, many still feel that way. Racism was a massive blindspot in American culture and in the church. I told my wife last night, “I’d like to think that I would have stood up against racism, but in a way, I’m glad I wasn’t there to be tested.” Why did I say this? Because I’m realizing more and more every day how easy it is to fall victim to self-delusion – where I convince myself that something is right or good when it’s obviously wrong and evil.
So when we look around and try to figure out what the battle is for us today, we have to consider that we may have a nasty blindspot in our lives that is keeping us from recognizing where the real battle is in the first place.
So what battles are left to fight? Or maybe a better question: What blindspots do we suffer from in our culture? Comment below and continue the discussion…