Advent: In an Age of Uncertainty…(December 9, 2008)

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.

   Who knows?

   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.

5 thoughts on “Advent: In an Age of Uncertainty…(December 9, 2008)”

  1. “You can’t see their little faces except as a blur”
    I knew it! Must be a Referee Association Standard. I will bundle a pair of old glasses off to you this afternoon!
    Robert ]8~D \O~O/

  2. Dr. Davis, you don’t know me from Adam (you may know my Dad who works at HPU), but as a newly minted Junior High girls’ basketball coach, I thouroughly enjoyed this post! Everything you said is right on the money…

  3. Rick, thanks for adding the reminder to Dads (and Moms) to go to the game. I will be in the stands tonight to watch my 7th grader play a ball game. I ache for those girls whose parents do not show up. Some of them can’t due to work or other matters and I try to remind myself of that, but some of them are at home in front of the TV not watching anything near as fun or thrilling as junior high kids playing basketball. I remember playing basketball in junior and senior high and walking out of dressing rooms to the encouragement and hugs of my parents and seeing my teammates walk to the bus with no one present to say anything to them. It was sad then and it strikes me even harder now that I am a dad!
    Thanks for referring ball games.

  4. I ache for the girls whose parents don’t show up at all. Anywhere. Anytime.
    We’ve been able to start picking up kids and bringing them to church every time the doors are open. It is thrilling and humbling, all at the same time.
    Vignette: two sisters – half sisters actually. Current “man” in their lives is the the father of neither. Pastor bought both of them new coats Sunday because all they had were threadbare sweatjackets and it was COLD in Oklahoma this last weekend (colder now).
    Current parental units couldn’t buy them warm coats. These girls stay home alone or with an older half sister often. Oh, and the reason the current parental units couldn’t buy these girls warm coats? I’m glad you asked…it was because they were out bar-hopping on Friday night and spending all day at one of the local Casinos on Saturday.
    Linda and I have become quasi-parents for one of these dears who have come into the life of our little church. As I said, it is both thrilling and humbling.
    My advice for parents: show up.
    And still, God is good and all the time!

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