If you're not familiar with running lines, let me explain: on a basketball court, starting at one end, you sprint to the free-throw line and back, then to the mid-court line and back, to the opposite free-throw line, and then to the opposite end of the court and back.
They're a total beating in an air-conditioned gym. In triple-digit heat, they're grueling.
Grueling but effective and this boy was told to run 8.
Unfortunately for him, and for the counselors, his lack of submission began an afternoon of escalating consequences. He missed going with his cabin to their activities and still owed his 8 lines.
Lots of kids we work with don't have the understanding that with every action, there is a consequence. It's something we talk about all the time.
But, what we also have is kids who, when they get mad, lose all sense of reason. Their pride draws lines in the proverbial sand and they back themselves into a corner with no foreseeable way out. And, even if they did, they don't have the tools to get there. This camper was undone, shutting down, wanting to go home.
Trey and a Senior Counselor created, for this child a way out. A way of being restored-but it wouldn't come for free.
"Son, you owe me 8 lines. I've gotta get those lines so, I don't even know if they'd agree to this but, what if I asked your cabin mates to pay part of those lines for you?"
Looking up, "Oh, I couldn't do that."
"Son, you need help. Let me ask them."
Trey went to talk to the rest of this young man's cabin and before I knew it the offender was on the court with his Senior Counselor together running those lines. Strengthened by just the idea that someone would take part of his debt for him.
Minutes later, the rest of the cabin appeared on the court and voluntarily finished a panting, but amazed, young man's lines for him without even a word of complaint.
"Debt" was satisfied through "innocent" sacrifice and a child was restored.
And another picture of the gospel was laid before these kids, before each of us - all before the call to dinner.
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