I was struck today by the following excerpts regarding Barack Obama’s unexpected, and perhaps undeserved (according to Obama himself), Nobel Peace Prize:

AP: President Barack Obama was praised Friday as a worthy Nobel Peace Prize winner although many admirers said the award was based on his potential, not his accomplishments.

Former Finnish president and 2008 Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari: “We do not yet have peace in the Middle East… This time it was very clear that they wanted to encourage Obama to move on these issues…”.

Is the prize, in this case, a powerful example of grace and imputation, i.e. treating someone as better than they are, giving a gift that is undeserved?

Or is it a powerful example of law, of burdening a man with something that he cannot live up to, of saddling with crushing expectations?

Perhaps both? What say you, Mockingbirds?