Skip to comments.Jackie Robinson: Faith in Himself—and in God
Posted on 04/16/2013 9:07:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey first met Jackie Robinson on Aug. 28, 1945. Rickey told Robinson that he wanted to sign the 26-year-old ballplayer and break the national pastime's color barrier. But for him to succeed, Rickey said, Robinson couldn't respond to the indignities that would be piled on him: "I'm looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back."
Rickey then opened a book published in the 1920s, Giovanni Papini's "Life of Christ," and read Jesus' words: "But whoever shall smite thee on the cheek, turn to him the other also." Robinson knew the Gospel and knew what was required of him. He replied, "I have two cheeks, Mr. Rickey. Is that it?" This meeting between the two Methodists, Rickey and Robinson, ultimately transformed baseball and America itself.
The exchange is depicted in "42," the biographical movie opening this weekend with Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. But then the movie turns to the familiar, inspiring saga of Robinson's courageous fight against racism in baseball and society.
What is often overlooked in accounts of Robinson's life is that it is also a religious story. His faith in God, as he often attested, carried him through the torment and abuse of integrating the major leagues.
Robinson grew up in Pasadena, Calif., where his mother, Mallie, instilled in her five children the belief that God would take care of them. "I never stopped believing that," Robinson later said.
It took awhile for Robinson as a young man to understand what that faith in God meant. He was involved in more than one fight, and scrapes with the law, prompted by racial antagonism. Arnold Rampersad, in his 1997 Robinson biography, describes how the teenager was rescued from the streets by the Rev. Karl Downs,
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Wow. Just this past Sunday my pastor (Trinity United Methodist Church in Prattville AL) included this information in his sermon! Definitely going to see the movie—trying to get our minds off the terrible event yesterday in Boston (reminded me so very much of 9/11) and my husband’s upcoming surgery (for mesothelioma cancer in his abdominal cavity)at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Terrible things happen all the time, but in the midst we continue to count our blessings and cling to God...
My Cub Scouts den studied Jackie Robinson for one of our meetings. I was surprised at learning that he excelled in several sports, good enough to be a pro in any of them.