Tiger Woods, Easter, and the complicated nature of redemption

A lot of ink has been spilled on Tiger Woods as a redemption story this week. Much of it has been trite. Worse, many of those jumping on Woods’s bandwagon now are the very media outlets that capitalized on — and reveled in — his past failures. And they will do it again should he again fail. Habeeb’s column, however, has substance. As an evangelical Christian, Habeeb was praying and cheering for the right things. I will quibble with his characterization of forgiveness and redemption a bit when I say that Tiger didn’t sin against the public and therefore doesn’t need their forgiveness and Redemption is entirely a work of God that has nothing whatsoever to do with Masters Tournament championships. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Tiger Woods’s victory last Sunday is a great comeback story rather than a redemption story.

But what a dramatic comeback story it is! What’s next? Will he and Elin reconcile? Now that would be an even better story. I don’t know Tiger Woods and I don’t dare judge him. The man has endured enough of that for several Buddhist reincarnations (or “rebirths” as I think they call it). Rather, I pray that in the light of his recent triumph he gives credit to a God whose grace is so remarkable that he bestows a measure of it even on those who don’t know him. I pray for Tiger Woods’s redemption — his real redemption.