Generous Orthodoxy  

Monday, August 06, 2012

Olympian gold and Christian faith

Say what you will about simple--and sometimes simplistic--evangelical Christian faith, in certain circumstances it builds bridges like nothing else. The story of Gabby Douglas, the electrifying 16-year-old black gymnast from Virginia Beach who won the all-around Olympic gold medal last week, and her white "family" in Iowa who took her on--in faith--for training for two years grew out of a bond that sprang into being when Gabby's hard-working single mother and the couple in Iowa spoke on the phone about their Christian commitment. One does not want to be sentimental about this, but it's important to acknowledge the power of Christ in breaking down the barriers that divide us.
There are, of course, numerous articles about this series of events, and it will be written up as an "inspirational" story, but in some ways it is straight journalism, such as that in the not-very-friendly-to-evangelicalism New York Times that best conveys the role of faith in the story. (And the light-hearted way the white family handled the lack of black faces like Gabby's in Iowa is amusing and touching.)