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


  1. Oh Pam, this is just such an important theme that you touched on. I have this conversation with so many people because thankfully, this is not my story but it is the story of SO many others. My folks were at every performance I had no matter what. On the other hand, my best friend's folks took off overseas right before her HS graduation and left for 17 years. Before that they barely knew she went to school. She signed her own notes at school because her Mom couldn't be bothered. And a neighbor bought her a dress for a dance (her Mom thought it was ridiculous and her Dad was never there) And at her first track meet, she won but of course her folks weren't there to see it so she gave up on that.....I hear it time and again from grown adults who still harbor scars and wounds. This is just so very important and we need to let kids know they are VALUED. Thank you for this!

    1. We do at that, Lori. Actually, we need to let EVERYONE -- kids AND adults -- that they're valued. I continue to be shocked when I hear stories like this. It's something that you think only happens in movies. I had NO idea my friend went through this. My husband went through similar, but actually worse, circumstances. And my heart aches for your friend. Wow. Thank God for the sweet neighbor who took the time and money to buy her a dress. I know this has to break the heart of the Father when He sees things like this happening.

      Thanks, Lori. <3

  2. Beautiful post Pam. I pray those who need to read this, see it.

    1. Me, too, Toni. And thanks a bunch for sharing this. I appreciate that. :)

  3. Such a needed post and so beautifully written! We all need some cheerleaders in our lives and I've been so thankful for my FB friends in recent years for that reason. God is our most faithful cheerleader though!

    1. Thank you. Indeed He is, Susie!! And I'm so very thankful for that. :)

  4. Pam once again very timely. Our God never sleeps. He seems to rest at times and gives a nudge to remind us of our position he has for us. Thanks for the beautiful words of God's love.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...