[Something I forgot to publish a couple of weeks back!]
I got to watch Hard Ball with some young people from our senior youth club this week. Maybe not my choice but nevertheless we watched Keanu Reeves as an aimless gambling and drinking young man. As a condition of getting a loan from a friend he agrees to coach a Little League Baseball team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago.
You can guess the plot. It isn't difficult - the team that was rubbish that came good etc... Ok predictable but the director Brian Robbins did a great job of capturing the systematic failure of the inner city, the paralysis of inner city life for so many.
All the symptoms were there. The pain of fragmentation, brokeness that manifests itself in violence, anger - rage. The predictability of walk away 'do-gooders'. Fear. Suspicion. Inconsistency of people. Marginalisation. Escapism. Injustice.
But he also caught the joy of persistent investment. The joy of engagement. The building up of community; the building up of self-belief. Freedom. Hope. Trust. Confidence. Self-reliance.
A little while back Maggi has highlighted some thoughts as to ministry and asks is ministry bad for you? I got to watch Hard Ball with some young people that face the paralysis of inner city life every day. I watched and I saw and was reminded of the fulfilment that comes from being a partner in making freedom, hope and grace known.