The Carroll Academy Lady Jags have lost 213 straight high school basketball games. They’ve won six games in fourteen years. Let that sink in for a second. Now watch this touching piece on their story:

As you can see, Carroll Academy is no ordinary school, and this is no ordinary basketball team. It’s almost as if the coaches have been reading Mockingbird! There are, to be sure, a few of the usual ESPN tug-the-heartstrings triumph-in-the-face-of-adversity moments, but some of the things that the coaches say are wonderfully profound.

This is nothing compared to what you’re gonna face in your life. 20, 25, 30 years from now, when I’m gone, and you come home, and you find out your husband has lost his job, that’s adversity…this is nothing. This will prepare you for that. – Randy Hatch, Head Coach

The losses give us the tools we need to teach, to build self-esteem. – Patrick Steele, Director of Security

caBasketball94.JPGThis is counter-intuitive in the extreme. Normally, you’d expect coaches to say that learning to overcome adversity on the court will help you to overcome adversity in life. Or that learning to make the transition from losing to winning builds self-esteem.  These coaches are saying something quite different: that adversity on the court will prepare you for the adversity that life is sure to bring you; that it is losing, not winning, that builds self-esteem.

God works sub contrario; that is, “under the opposite” of where we might expect Him to. We think that He makes his home with winners and with those who have overcome adversity.  We think that he must help those who help themselves. This is not true: God is to be found in the dark places, with the lepers, hanging on a cross, and at Carroll Academy. These are the places in which He makes His home. And praise God…it means He can be at home with us.

As Hayley says of the losing, “It didn’t matter to me, ’cause I had a family. I never had a family.” It is the losing, the failing, and the pain that bind us together, and it is in those places where God is to be found.