Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God In The Bleachers

'Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things that you have; for He has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." ' ~King James 2000 Bible

During a recent conversation, a friend shared a story from their past. It was a heartbreaking tale involving a celebratory milestone event that took place in their life; an event which no one in the family bothered to attend.

One family member dropped them off at the event location, drove away – and was not seen again until much later THE NEXT DAY.

While family members of the other young people who were involved in this joyous occasion were present in the bleachers – proudly cheering them on by name, pointing them out to those sitting around them, taking snapshot after snapshot of them – my friend’s family members were conspicuously absent from the crowd in the bleachers that evening.

Instead, they took their places on the sidewalk far beyond the seating area. For reasons known only to them, they chose to remain on the outer edge; standing on the fringe – literally and figuratively – of this child’s life, content to observe the happy goings-on through the chain link fence surrounding the field.

Years later, I could still hear the pain and the brokenness in my friend’s voice as the memory of the experience was put into words. I felt moved to encourage this dear one by reminding them that even though they didn't realize it or know it then; even though they didn't see or even know HIM at that time in their life, God was there WITH them. God was there FOR them. 

God was there in the bleachers.

Oh, friends, I have to wonder, as you sit reading this story, just how many of you can relate to it?

Maybe – with a few minor adjustments with regards to the logistics of people, locations and situations – my friend’s story

Is your story

And while the details may be different, the pain and the brokenness that comes from being rejected and overlooked; from feeling lost and forsaken is the same.

It’s real. It’s raw. It remains lodged in your heart like a hidden piece of shrapnel from a long ago battle. It’s a reminder – albeit an extremely erroneous one – that you aren’t worth someone’s time and effort. That you’re invisible. Forgotten. 


Today, let me encourage you that this is NOT so. This is NOT truth.

You are not worthless
You are not invisible
You are not forgotten
You are not alone

Today, let me remind you that God is in the bleachers. And in the church pew.

He’s in the motel room and in the infusion room.

He’s in the prison cell and on the building ledge.

He’s at the kitchen table and the radiation table.

He's in the classroom and in the office cubicle.

Or wherever it is you find yourself RIGHT NOW; wherever it is you feel lost, rejected, unseen, forsaken.


God sees. God hears. God knows. And God cares.

He sees you, every day and everywhere. He pursues you relentlessly and desperately. He knows your name, whispering it tenderly and constantly. He loves you unconditionally and unfailingly.

He sings over you, longing to quiet you with His love, like a mother sings to calm her wailing, thrashing child.

God is for you, not against you. He is with you – not out there somewhere in the great beyond, peering at you from behind the clouds. Or through a chain link fence.

Wherever you are – God is.

'But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!

I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you'
~Isaiah 43:1-4, The Message

Saturday, August 9, 2014

She's So Unusual -- or What It Looks Like When A Little Old Woman Chooses To Say 'I Want God'

'We talk too much and pray too little. We worry too much and pray too little.’

I have to say that I TOTALLY agree with her statement. Not because I’m part of Lisa’s book launch team and have an advanced copy of ‘I Want God’ in my hot little hands to read and review -- and possibly to give away later -- and therefore, feel as though I HAVE to agree.

No. I agree because I’ve lived this in the past. And, truth be told (sad truth that it is), Lisa's words resonate with me all too well because I’m living this right now, in the present.


Because talking too much and worrying too much is a pathetic and exhausting way to live. For a follower of Christ.  For anyone.

I took this photo of a tiny old woman who lives somewhere in my neighborhood. She’s as frail looking as a dragonfly’s wing. Her face is a mosaic of wrinkles. She walks so agonizingly slow, if she were in a race with a snail, I believe the snail would win. No contest.

And yet – EVERY DAY, this little babushka lady makes her slow and steady way to the church across from my house and stands at the gate for a good 20 minutes – and prays.

This is her time, and her sacred spot, where she meets and speaks with God on a daily basis. On hot days and cold days. On sunny days and cloudy days. She takes no notice of those who look at her as they pass by, some pointing and giggling. Some shake their heads at her, muttering sarcastic remarks.  Some actually just stop for a moment or two to stare at her, as if she were an oddity.

But really, in this day and age, in our society and through the eyes of the world – that’s exactly what she is. 

An oddity


Old fashioned, even 

A woman who sets aside time EVERY DAY to bring her burdens to the Lord and unload them at His feet. 

A woman who doesn’t talk too much or worry too much, who doesn’t pray too little.

Some may argue that we can pray to God anywhere. We don’t have to stand in front of a church, or even inside of a church.

And yes -- I know that’s true. You and I can talk to God in the car on our way to work, to school, to the grocery store; while we’re doing laundry, jogging, walking the dog; as we soak in the tub, splash in our in-ground pool, sit at a table at Starbucks and sip our coffee, etc.


Why are so many of us wasting too much time talking and texting and worrying and woe-is-me-ing? Why are so many of us playing and platforming and pouting and posting online too much? 

And praying too little?

This little old woman could do her aging, broken and no doubt hurting body a HUGE favor by staying home and praying from the confines and comfort of her living room easy chair or from her bed.

But I love the fact that she doesn’t. 

I love the fact that she wants God enough to, every day, choose to grab her cane, step out of the comfort of her home, and hobble her way down to her outdoor meeting place, where she stands on holy ground to have some Face Time with God, caring not who sees her, or what they think of or say about her.

I want to want God like that.

I want to stop talking too much and worrying too much and praying too little.

I want to be looked upon as an oddity. Old fashioned. Unusual.

Because I want God.

How about you?

(If you are tired of wanting things that are useless, don't make sense and don't last; if you want your life to be changed; if you're wondering what all this #IWantGod stuff is all about, go on over to Lisa Whittle's website or visit and follow her author's page on Facebook and Twitter

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