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Providential perspective

"Providential perspective" Continued...

Issue: "Surviving Syria," June 1, 2013

And as you dug into the story... It was even more amazing than that. It turned out that Mykal Riley learned to shoot on a special basketball court that his grandmother had installed with overhead lighting in her backyard. The only reason she was able to afford to install that court is because of a life insurance payout she had received when a crazy man something like 15 years earlier had shot to death her daughter along with three other people. It was hard to know what to make of the whole thing, but the bottom line was that this very, very bad thing had started a chain of events over 15 years ago that led to something wonderful happening. The challenge was to piece it all together, to find that cause and effect from A to Z.

Most reporters looking at this would see a chance collection of circumstances. Did you think about this in terms of Providence? It made it easier that Mykal Riley and his parents certainly looked at it that way, and Riley would pray as he was taking every shot. There could be a danger sometimes in imposing a certain sensibility on a story when the facts don’t call for it, but in this case it all fit together because the main characters all believed this is how it went. 

And you took those beliefs seriously. Another reporter would think that Riley and his parents were talking nonsense, and he might go in an entirely different direction. It’s true. There’s a lot of talk about being unbiased, being objective, not letting your own preconceptions get in the way of the story. But that’s impossible. Each of us has a way we see the world and a lens through which we view things, so we’re all going to bring a different perspective to the story. 

Watch Marvin Olasky’s complete interview with Thomas Lake:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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