Every now and then we hear of an individual who has the opportunity to display a wonderful moment of grace to another individual. It happened on Wednesday night when first base umpire Jim Joyce made an incorrect call that would have meant a “perfect game” for pitcher Armando Galarraga. I had to write about this because in the sea of “graceless” moments we see in our world today via the media, TV and movies, we need to reward those in the limelight who respond with grace.
After the bad call was made, Galarraga looked stunned and the crowd went silent. He quietly went back to work as the crowd started to boo. He later says this about the incident. “I say many times: Nobody’s perfect, everybody makes a mistake. I’m sure he didn’t want to make that call…..he feels really bad. The other umpires shower, eat, He was sitting in the seat and saying, ‘I’m so sorry.'”
Veteran Umpire Jim Joyce said of the hostile crowd, “I don’t blame them a bit or anything that was said,” Joyce said, “I would’ve said it myself if I had been Galaragga…..and he never said a word to me.”
The following day before the game, Galaragga and Joyce met at the pitcher’s mound. Joyce was visibly emotional and couldn’t hold back tears as he greeted Galaragga. It’s too bad the crowd didn’t display the same amount of grace as Galaragga did, for when they announced Jim Joyce’s name some boos were heard.
How many opportunities are there in life for us to be people of grace. How rare it is to find someone who reacts this way, so rare that we sit up and take notice!
Jesus is the ultimate Grace-giver. So many times people were surprised, bowled over by His grace. They expected judgement and harshness, as they got from the other religious leaders of the day. But Jesus gave love and grace instead. He still dealt with the sin, but always he accepted and loved the person.
Lord, help me be more of a grace-giver, an open door lit from within by Your grace. In Your Precious Name, Amen.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” Ephesians 2:8
Also, we remember Phoenix radio personality Bill Austin today who passed away on June 2nd of cancer. He made us laugh every morning on 99.9 KEZ radio. He is already greatly missed.