John Feinstein wrote a terrific column in yesterday’s Washington Post which is a MUST read. He writes about how Darren Clarke, who won the British Open on Sunday and Japan’s women’s soccer team, who won the Women’s World Cup, illustrate sports redemptive powers.

John writes:

At a time when just about every sports happening is inflated into the single most important event of our time, the rare moments that truly do matter can easily slip past us.

Sunday was one of those days. Two remarkable events took place within hours of one another, the kind that remind us there is more to sports than selling ad space on caps and shirts and scoreboards.

Darren Clarke is a man who has endured genuine personal tragedy. Japan is a country that has been through one horror after another in recent months and is still reeling from the natural disasters that have rocked it to the core.

There is nothing that can happen to bring back Clarke’s wife Heather, who died from breast cancer five years ago, leaving him to raise their two sons who were 7 and 5 at the time. There is certainly nothing that can wipe away the death and the suffering caused in Japan by the earthquake and the tsunami that ripped through the country earlier this year.

But Sunday gave those touched by the tragedies a moment to smile and to believe that life can be redemptive.

If you haven’t already, read the rest of his great piece at this link. You’ll be glad you did.