Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lines.

After an act of very willful disobedience yesterday, a counselor told one of our kids that his consequence was to run lines.

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.

He refused.

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.

Amen.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

24 comments:

Holli said...

tears....
Praying for the rest of your week!

Candy said...

OK, this is powerful. It's not just the inner city kids who don't realize that all actions have consequences.
I too have spiritual amnesia, I suppose.

Thank you for this very powerful demonstration of the gospel. What wisdom Trey used, and what mercy and grace his cabinmates extended him.

Praying for his heart, and the hearts of all who witnessed this loving demonstration.

Missing you guys. Praying A LOT!!

Love,

Candy

Deidra said...

There's holiness everywhere, isn't there?

Marcie said...

Melissa, I am reading this in tears. What a beautiful picture of Christian love.

Traci said...

Just AWESOME. Praying for you all!

Best Life said...

You know I rarely comment, but this has me in tears. Thanks for sharing it with us. It reminds me to pray for your kids, reminds me to keep teaching my kids concequences and reminds me of what Christ did for me. Beautiful! Lisa~

emily said...

Tears as well. Just beautiful, beautiful.

Jess said...

Tears!

AMEN!!

Grateful for Grace said...

Wowza. Thanks for the cry. Thanks for the mental picture.

Thanks.

Henley on the Horn said...

I, too, was drawn to tears. I am thankful the Lord is using you all, and the boy's cabinmates, to witness to those around you. What a powerful reminder to ALL of us! We are ALL unworthy, and yet saved by God's infinite grace and mercy. Wow. What a picture you painted. This should go in the book I expect you to publish one day:).

5Lips said...

What a powerful, real-life example of God's love for those boys and for me too!

Becca said...

Oh I just LOVE this! What a beautiful picture of the gospel for the kids. And such a truthful picture of how these kids react to consequences . . .

Hattie said...

tears here too! beautiful, thank you!

Meredith said...

Amen indeed.

Jen said...

So powerful! What an amazing example...

Caroline said...

Melissa,
This made me cry! What a beautiful picture of the gospel! Thank you for sharing! Praying for you all!

These Three Kings said...

you betta close the closet!!!! WOW!! AMEN sister! the LORD never ceases to amaze me with how HE CHOOSES TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO US ALL!

keep em coming :)

Anonymous said...

i can't remember how i found your blog, but i'm hooked. thank you for sharing your life. It is fun and encouraging to see God working in your life, your family and those you serve. what a wonderful story!

kristen
tx

Kendra aka The Meanest Momma said...

what a wonderful life lesson - for all the kids involved.

My strong-willed child is only 4, but I see lots of "running lines" in his future! :)

Sue said...

Whoa... very powerful.

Darcy said...

Awesome. Thank you for the reminder.

Aimee said...

love this. I bet he will never forget this lesson. I won't either. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. God bless you!

Traci said...

I want you to know something- I had a "feeling" that I needed to send the link to this post to our football coaches this week- I did it Friday morning. Friday afternoon there was an incident that called for "lines" - it's playing out as I write- this boy will meet with the coaching staff Sunday afternoon to get his decision- you can read about it on the blog- but if you get this before 4:00 on Sunday- say a prayer for this boy and his coaches and that Truth will show Himself there.

I'm still telling everyone I know about "Lines" - what an awesome lesson.

LoLa said...

this broke my heart. Lovely, lovely.