Our God is so powerful that he can bring good even out of the worst tragedies of our lives. The death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in California on January 26 gives us a poignant example of this. Bryant had been to Mass earlier that Sunday morning, and he was accompanying his daughter Gianna to her basketball game in Thousand Oaks when the horrible event occurred. Most Americans — even those who are not basketball fans — responded to the news of the crash with shock and disbelief. Bryant was a basketball legend, and his daughter was a budding superstar in the sport.
But God has been at work in the midst of the darkness, moving many people to re-prioritize their lives, and to openly express their love for one another (especially for members of their families).
One of the most inspiring responses to the tragedy involved another former NBA player, Kendrick Perkins, who was involved in a highly publicized verbal exchange on Twitter last month with former teammate Kevin Durant.
Hearing about the deaths of Kobe and his daughter moved Perkins to reach out to Durant and to seek reconciliation. On January 26 Perkins tweeted to his former teammate: “Just wanted to tell you I love you my brother and whatever I did to hurt you I’m sorry bro and hope you forgive me!!!” When he was later asked why he sent the tweet, he responded: “I … wanted the world to see, hey, if you’re having problems with a loved one, a friend, a family member, whoever, hey, life is too short. The next 60 seconds is not promised. Nip that in the bud and heal those wounds with those people that you love and get past it. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Wise words that we should all try to follow each and every day — even if we’re not struggling to deal with a terrible tragedy in our life.