An NBA beat reporter was surprised to find the team’s winning streak coincided with a confession, an apology, and subsequent forgiveness. Portland Trail Blazers starting forward Maurice “Moe” Harkless admitted to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman that a string of strong March games, which helped to propel the team to a thirteen-game win streak, could be tracked back to an interaction two months prior.

“Sometimes you have to look yourself in the mirror,” Harkless said. “And this was one of those times.”

Following a January road trip, the Blazers had been struggling, and Harkless had lost his spot in the playing rotation. Subsequently, when the team rebounded with a win against an inferior opponent, Harkless’ box score line bore the dreaded “DNP-CD” designation (“did not play, coach’s decision.”) When Moe looked at the video footage of himself from that night, he didn’t like what he saw – a listless demeanor amidst teammates who were cheering and applauding from the bench.

After getting the coach’s permission, he interrupted the next day’s practice session to apologize to his teammates for his behavior. “No matter what’s going on, I can’t be a bad teammate. Those are still my guys.”

That expression of vulnerability was met with almost instant forgiveness and respect. The bond of the team was strengthened, and Harkless experienced a resurgence in his play that earned his starting spot again. Eventually, that team chemistry resulted in a thirteen-game win streak.

Restoration doesn’t require waiting for someone to reach out. God took the initiative to bridge the gap that sin created.

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