Question: What is harder to call than a junior high girls' basketball game?
Answer: Your dog, after he runs away. Far away.
Yes, I mixed my images there.
Last night, four happy games of junior high girls; 7-B and 7-A, 8-B and 8-A. This morning, my dogs are barking. Yes, back to the canine metaphor.
Question: What is better than a group of kids, good kids, playing the holy game, on a semi-cold Monday night in a West Central Texas gym?
Answer: Not much in sports.
This is the last time these kids get to have fun, real fun, with basketball. High school turns deadly serious. Jobs and scholarships are on the line. Kids get cut from teams. There is no rule about playing time, so some kids sit and sit.
Last night was pure, undiluted, absolutely weird basketball. Everything you can do wrong, technically, these girls found a way to execute the improbable, the illegal, the…the…the…, well, you almost cannot get there from here.
They are beautiful. I don't mean physically. You don't even notice their looks. They are a dashing uniform going swiftly down court. You can't see their little faces except as a blur and their forms are lost in the more chaste uniforms of today's wear.
No, they are lovely because they are pure. They encourage each other. They pick opponents up off the floor. They laugh at their own mistakes. They interact with coaches who are not that much older than their teammates. They look up in the stands to see if mom and dad are present. The hurt on the face of the little girl who does see not family in the stands is palpable. What you have heard is true: if Dad is not there, she looks over to some boy in the stands.
Go to the games, Dad. Sit where she can see you.
Beauty is purity. I don't know what Jesus looked like. He must have looked like a Mediterranean Jew of the first century. I understand they were not tall or all that broad, more sinewy and tough than heavily muscular. Brown eyes, dark skin, curly hair, a beard and a prominent nose over thin lips.
He may have grown to be quite homely.
Beauty is purity. Lasciviousness is tawdry.
Beauty is purity.
On her way out of the gym, after her game, one blond-headed, blue-eyed little princess, from the winning team, waited for me to run down that way to give me her valedictory.
"You guys are awful," she shared.
Oh, the humanity.
Beauty is purity. Jesus is pure.