Jesus picked up the ball and with a grin, he challenged Kobe into a game of one on one. Kobe nodded yes and then jokingly suggested, “Doesn’t The Bible state that the serpent will strike your heels?”. With a smirk, Jesus replied, “Yes indeed. So perhaps a Black Mamba could strike me. But you know what? I created every species and every animal belonging to each one of them, and I don’t remember you actually being a Black Mamba. Though I of course gave you their speed, agility, and their resolve.”. Kobe blushed, and tried hard to focus on the ball as Jesus spoke. He almost couldn’t see it, his entire essence was consumed as he heard the loving words of His savior. Basketball had always been his passion but the ball in front of him was nothing compared to the radiant love of the Lord.
Jesus smiled and said, “Kobe, I will not have to teach you any more basketball now that you are here, but I will teach you one thing on this court”. “What is that my Lord?”, replied Kobe. Jesus then drove to the basket and dunked on Kobe saying, “That verse also tells us that I will crush the serpents head”. Kobe almost fell over consumed by laughter, he got posterized by Jesus. On earth if a man dunked on him it would be a great insult, but in heaven it seemed to Kobe to be a high and humbling honor.
Then he looked to the bench, where his daughter was laughing at him and he called her over. As she looked at her father, she realized that he wasn’t embarrassed, but instead that he was happy. They both recognized the happiness present in themselves and in one another. Just a short time ago they thought that they knew who they were, what they were and where their home was. But in this new place they felt as if they needed to know nothing but the Love of their Heavenly Father. So they smiled.
They were once both athletes who would go through any pain to be the best. But there was no pain in this place. Furthermore, there is only one best in the place that they are and He is generous and loving. “There is nothing to prove here,” they thought to themselves, “There is no need to hear our names cheered.” The feeling of rest inside of them was peaceful, like a warm pillow and a cozy blanket on a winter night. Kobe looked to Gianna and told her a truth that burst up from inside him, “Never again will we have to worry if they will cheer our name, the one who knows our name and knows us better than we know ourselves has called it. There is nothing better than this.” They then cried together, joyfully they weep. They did not expect to be here so soon, but they now knew the perfection of God’s plan and the perfection of His Love.
Inspiration, Disclaimers, Theology and More
I will first state the obvious: I do not know whether Kobe and Gianna are in heaven. From what I have seen Kobe Bryant had serious faith convictions that I hope he passed to his family. I pray for them and the families of the others who died in this crash. I pray that they are all with the Lord and that their families are comforted and showed love in this hard time. Thinking about how heavily the news of their death hit me I felt the need to write something. Short stories often help me process the pain that I feel and see people going through around me. This piece is not eloquent, nor is it long, and it is not terribly creative. But that is okay, Glorifies God and helps someone through this grieving that’s enough for me. I also hope this is not blasphemous theologically speaking, it is not meant to be if it is. Lastly, I do not know if Jesus would play basketball in heaven. So, take it as a parable if you will.
I set out to make a few points in this piece that I hope would be simple yet profound. First of all, if Kobe and Gianna are in Heaven, we can rejoice. I thought of the need to rejoice when I came across the inspiration of this piece. My friend Abby who shared a screenshot of her finding out that Kobe might had been a Christian. She said “Dang it’s not even that sad anymore if he was really saved, He(s) chillen with the father. Imagine playing b-ball with J.C.” Which is exactly what I did. The idea grabbed my mind and told my heart to write about it.
Here are the main points I wanted to convey in this Parable. First, that untimely death is not a light thing to gloss past but that eternity with Christ should be the end goal of all humanity. That does not mean that we should all necessary seek to die now. Because we are put on this earth to glorify God with our talents that he gave us. (Philippians 1: 21-23) Jesus as the loving creator gave Kobe every thing that we may say Kobe could boast about having. Not to say Kobe did not work harder than most athletes but that in the end it is all a gift. But the final prize is eternity in Heaven.
Another point that I wanted to make that I hoped would be simple yet thought provoking is that Jesus enjoys us. He enjoys our personalities and that he knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our names. The creator of every molecule, ocean, rain forest, solar system, spider web, and of everything everywhere in every way. He created all things and all things are His. He is so far above us, and so glorious yet he tenderly loves us and calls our name. The applause of man is meaningless. They will all fade into oblivion. Our God will not. Choose eternity with him. Turn from your sin and turn to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross where He died for your sins so that you may be free from the control of sin. Walk in righteousness until the day he calls you home. We do not know when our last day will be, or if we will get the full 24 hours of tomorrow. As someone once said, “Live Wise, Die Ready”.
With Love, Grace, and Humility,