Hooping it Up in the Margins

20130418-195300.jpg It was the second session of our Spring/Summer basketball season in the neighborhood. Six boys showed up at first. Not enough for full court five-on-five. So one of our long-time participants and a natural leader left briefly to recruit some of his other friends. Five older boys showed up along with a neighbor dad, all of whom had serious basketball skills. Game on.

We played two games. Serious competition and fun, as well. Good attitudes. No conflict. There was one issue which my fellow coach addressed. The stuff of real life with young people influenced by the culture. He handled it discreetly and well. I expect no further problems of that nature. If they happen, then I will take appropriate measures.

Doing life with young people cross-culturally and in an urban setting necessitates setting boundaries and expectations while doing so graciously. Kindness with the ability to be firm where necessary.

There is an ebb and flow to urban life in the outer reaches of Lents neighborhood. With the days growing longer and summer on the horizon, the community is awakening, becoming more accessible to conversation, shared experiences, and new friendships. I intend to continue being present with them as a fellow sojourner in the margins. That’s where my heart is, where my dreams inspire my imagination, and where I find joy despite the challenges. In the margins. Where families struggle to make a better life for themselves outside the notice or concern of the larger culture.

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4 thoughts on “Hooping it Up in the Margins

  1. What a valuable ministry…a life well lived; not for accolades or public attention, much like Jesus hang’en around Galilee of the Gentiles. Also speaks of the importance of finding one’s niche, that place where one’s heart and valuable contribution meet.

  2. Thanks brother. I’m still working through the niche aspect. It’s morphed a great deal over the years. All I know for sure is it will require far less of me and far more of Christ. Look forward to sitting down to chat with you soon.

  3. I find this post truly inspiring. It’s hard to explain in a single comment, but I will say that I’ve been praying a prayer asking Him to send me where He needs me… last week in a very humbling yet spiritually revealing moment, I realized He has me 1) working with a homeless ministry, 2) coaching ex-convicts and 3) walking along side a gentleman with a mental illness. As I read your post here this morning, I can feel your heart loving those who live in the margins–the place where God has brought my attention.

    I don’t really know what I’m doing, but reading your blog helps me know that I just need to love. I know how to do that. Thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences. What you do here matters.

  4. Leanne, every so often I receive a comment which blows me away. This is one of them. I affirm you as you engage with people who frequently are kicked to the curb by society. Thank you for being Jesus’ ambassador to them. Thank you also for your incredibly encouraging words. It means a lot to me.

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