Lion KingPosted: September 28, 2009
Christians have a conflicted relationship with lions. “”The lion shall lie down with the lamb” is Isaiah’s soaring image of hope. The early Christians being thrown to the lions at the Coliseum? Not so good.
Of course Isaiah actually said “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11). Contrary to popular belief, there’s no lion and lamb lying together in the Bible. But in any case it’s a powerful image for the potential people of faith together hold.
Which brings us to the NFL’s Detroit Lions who won a game yesterday for the first time since December 23, 2007. They broke a 19-game losing streak by beating the Washington Redskins 19-14. On the surface, it was a meaningless game between two hapless franchises. But on another level, you couldn’t help but be thrilled for the Lions players — especially the ones who endured all 19 of those losses.
I watched the end of the game with Ben and Zack yesterday afternoon and the three of us had fun rooting for the Lions to finally win one. Sure, everybody loves an underdog (at least any red-blooded American). But this transcended the stereotype. To me it was about the amount of suffering one person or one team can or should endure. It’s hard to go on living without hope. And we all know people who always seem to be getting metaphorically kicked to the ground. It makes you wonder why — is it simply their destiny? Does God not like them for some reason? How can they break this cycle?
The Lions showed us that the way to break through is to simply keep showing up. The hope lies in picking yourself up off the turf and going at it again. Sure, it helps if you’re being paid a lot of money to keep showing up. But it’s still a lesson for all of us when we’re in the midst of our own personal 19-game losing streaks.
It was an amazing sight watching some of these huge men weep following the final whistle. I’m pretty certain God couldn’t care less about the outcome of a football game. But maybe it was time to offer a bit of hope to the long-suffering football fans in Detroit.