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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Basketball Diaries: Game 1

Today was the first game of our basketball season.

Sam's team scared me when I first laid eyes on them. The team consists of third and fourth graders, mostly fourth graders. He is in third grade, so, he being my son, he is not terribly tall either, so the other boys seemed soooo much bigger. He did great. It was wonderful to see how much he learned from last year and the poise and confidence with which he went out on the court today. His coach is a wonderful man, gentle and encouraging with just enough competitiveness given the boy's ages. Sam played point guard and scored on a beautiful drive straight down the middle. I never prayed so hard for a ball to go in a hoop in my life.

Maddy and Lilly amazed me. They both scored. Lilly got in a couple of good assists. Maddy made some great rebounds, both on offense and defense. They were so focused. Their team played very well together, all of them sharing the ball, helping each other out. They won decisively.

It is a testament to their coach, Maureen, a generous Christian woman who simply wants to teach them thrill of a well played game.

And of course, their assistant coach, my own dear Dave. Honestly, I don't think he wanted to do this. I tried not to nag. In fact I barely mentioned it and asked the girls to keep the pressure off. I knew coaching would be so good for him and the girls. I knew that Maureen really wanted his help. So I prayed. Suddenly it seemed that he had made the decision to do it. I think he did it to make me happy. And today God let me see the fruit of my quiet persistence. His joy was contagious. It was the joy of a knowing he had taught those girls to play a little better. It was the pride in seeing his girls begin to master a game he enjoys so much. And too, it was the pure love and adoration in his girls' eyes for their Papa, the coach. He even wore a big purple team shirt. So tonight I will shower him with love attention and hope that he can see reflected in my eyes my love for him.

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