Andy Murray and lessons in judging others
Brian Draper admits he never much liked Andy Murray in the beginning but, like many others, he came to feel his initial judgement of the 'dour Scot' may not have been so right after all.
Draper, a writer, broadcaster and associate lecturer at the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, says it was only after watching the BBC documentary Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet this week that he realised the Wimbledon winner's supposed 'anti-English' jibe had been thoroughly taken out of context in the media.
And it was after seeing him cry in defeat to Roger Federer at last year's Wimbledon that Draper "realised he had a heart".
Then there was the frog-in-the-throat moment during his interview with Sue Barker when he recalled the terrible massacre in his hometown, Dunblane, of 16 children and a teacher, and how he, a then eight-year-old, hid under a desk as the shooting rampage unfolded.
"I never much liked Andy Murray," Draper writes in the latest LICC newsletter.
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"Not that I knew him, of course. But the fact that he was a 'dour Scot', anti-English, guarded, sulky: it was evidence enough to convince the kangaroo court in my head that he was guilty of ... well, of not being likeable, I suppose. I wonder how many others I have similarly tried and sentenced."
Now Draper has resolved to ask himself two questions the next time he finds himself judging someone: What can he learn about himself? And what can he learn about - and from - the ones he is judging?
"In Andy Murray's case, I have learned about myself that no amount of collected Christian wisdom or insight can substitute for practising my faith. 'Judge not, lest you be judged,' said Jesus. Embarrassingly simple, yet incredibly hard," he says.
"Second, I can learn from Andy himself that the human spirit is both immensely resilient and beautifully fragile; that the good will out; that grace emerges even from the darkest situation; that repeated failure is okay; that sometimes, if you commit yourself fully, you really can succeed; and that you don't need to defend yourself always, if you let your life do the talking. A victory, we might say, to love."