September 18, 2016. The San Diego U-T had many headlines and sub-headlines. One in the Sports section caught my attention for its apparent inconsistency. It read, “Heavy Hearts After Padres Pummeled.”
Why would the latest loss be particularly burdensome to a last place team? Losing is as natural to the Padres as frustration to the Chargers. The Padres are always trading producing players for prospects. The worst year a Padre player can have is to hit .300 or win 15 games. He’s sure to be on the trading block. You get the idea of inconsistency? It wasn’t the first time I read a headline expecting one idea only to read another.
Then I read the story behind the U-T headline, and saw the reason for those bold, black letters. It wasn’t a baseball loss that burdened Padres’ hearts. It was a personal loss of a Padres’ player, whose beloved 31 year-old wife died from cancer complications.
Reality suddenly supervened. Whatever we lose in games, or profits, or friendships, no loss approaches the sorrow of losing to death someone whose very being defines us. Whose life enriches us. Whose relationship with us deepens our appreciation of them. That loss diminishes all others by impacting us with grief beyond all expression.
When we read the headline at the head of a scripture passage—such as John 16:17-33, “The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn To Joy” we can be sure the content of the passage will reveal JOY. God’s Word reveals God’s Mind, Will, Love, Judgment, Forgiveness, Wrath. Whatever it has to say won’t ever advertise one message but deliver another. Read the Bible. Accept its message. Base your life on its truth. For the Bible will never have a headline saying it’s TRUE, but a story proving it FALSE.