Saints and Sinners and Sufferers on a Basketball Court

I was young and eager to help, and foolish.

I signed up to join a small team of Christian men to serve at a men’s shelter in the Bronx because I thought that I could offer something. It was the early 1990s and my twenty-something heart hungered to care for guys who had a difficult life, had struggled with addiction, or been to jail.

So when our group walked to the shelter from the subway, I anticipated conversations where I would offer my caring encouragement, teach these guys about the Bible, help them get on with their life. Wow, I was wrong.

What Hebrews 13 Teaches Us About Being Outsiders

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. — Hebrews 13:11-14 (NIV)