Reflecting on a tragedy

This week our nation, both cricket lovers and many others, and many beyond our nation, mourn the loss of Philip Hughes.

I won’t forget the images of the bowler, Sean Abbott. One moment Abbott and Hughes were the fiercest of competitors. But the perspective of life changed it all, with the bowler himself being one of the first to stop at nothing to help Hughes after he had been struck. We all feel for him now for, as many have noted, he was just doing his job.

I remember at a club cricket BBQ a few years ago, a club cricket veteran talking about how much cricket can teach you about life. I am sure that not even he envisaged that cricket might offer all in our nation the very opportunity to reflect on the gift of life itself.

One moment you can turn up to play a game and enjoy the sport you love. The next there can be tragedy of the most extraordinary dimensions. Did you notice that as the tragedy unfolded this week, a nation that for the most part ignores or despises God, turned to God in prayer? It was, and continues to be, an instinctive reaction in acknowledging that we are not in control.

Yet, there are even deeper lessons. Life is a gift. It should not be taken for granted. And tragedies like this help all of us keep perspective. Disputes and disagreements can so easily spiral out of control. Sometimes you can even forget the original issue! 

May we all reflect on the precious gift of life and relationships that God has blessed us with: ‘the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils …..’ (Genesis 2:7). We live in a sinful world. Off course there will be tensions and strains from time to time. But may we keep them in perspective, and even act to heal past hurts.

Perhaps even more so, while some may adopt a philosophy to ‘eat, drink and be merry’ while they can, the one that so many are turning to at this time, God himself, through his Word, exhorts us to think of the world to come. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, death can be conquered: ‘thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!’ (1 Cor 15:57).

This week is a week for all of us to pause, to think, and to pray.


Feature photo: Neil Tilbrook