Tennis, Faith and My Dad

UnknownMy dad has been a part of the Iowa Men’s Tennis program for 47 years. He became the head coach the same year I was born, so for 33 straight years I have been cheering on the Iowa Tennis team. Yesterday I watched them lose a heartbreaking match 4-3 against Indiana.

I clenched my teeth the whole 5 hour drive back home.

I was still replaying points in my head as I tried to fall asleep.

If how much the family of the coach cares made any difference in the outcome of a match my dad would have won multiple national titles by now. 

Unfortunately that’s not how tennis works.

In the second chapter of the book of Mark four men carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus for him to be healed. When they got to the house where Jesus and his friends were gathered there was no room to get to him. The man’s friends were so desperate for him to be with Jesus that they climbed on the roof, cut a whole and lowered their friend down. When Jesus saw this he told the man that because of the faith of his friends his sins were forgiven and he could now get up and walk.

I am grateful that this is how the Gospel works.

This doesn’t fit neatly into anyone’s tightly held doctrine or theology.

Can we really be healed (redeemed) because of the faith of our friends? Apparently so.

Maybe we should hold more loosely to our theology and our doctrine.


I still wish this was how college tennis worked.


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