At my daughter's recent basketball game, the star was playing with a 102 degree fever, the center had been feeling sick all day, and for whatever reason, Michelle was a bit sluggish.
I noticed she was running slower than usual, and her reactions were a bit delayed, but it still bothered me when a man a few rows down started yelling “Michelle!! Get the lead out!” I wondered who this man was and what made him think he could yell at my daughter.
And that wasn’t the only thing he said. He had other corrections for her as well. She should have gotten the rebound, she should have stolen the ball, her passing should have been better, etc., etc. I noticed Michelle glancing up at him while she played and I grew irritated with his yelling.
Then I noticed something else. He wasn’t the only one yelling at her. There were others who would yell, “Good job, Michelle!” when she scored. There was a group of men at the top of the bleachers yelling to the ref to watch the throwing elbows of the girl guarding my daughter, and there were those who would yell, “Nice try, Michelle!” when she would attempt to steal the ball and fail, or shoot a free throw and miss.
I realized that with just a few exceptions, I didn’t know any of these people.
It struck me how people I didn’t even know were cheering for Michelle by name, offering suggestions on how to improve, and buoying her up when she failed. I began to think about all the school teachers she has had, all the coaches, friends, and church leaders who have cheered her along from the bleachers of her life, and I wondered how many others there were who I had never known.
And my heart swelled with gratitude for their love and concern.
Then, in my mind, I saw numberless people beyond the veil, watching, prodding, and cheering. I could hear them say, “Come on Michelle, get the lead out!”, “You can do it, Michelle”, and “Good job! That’s the way!”
And tears welled up in my eyes.
How grateful I am to know that through out the day, there are many people, some I know, and many I don’t, some on this side of the veil, and some on the other, who want to see my daughter succeed and are cheering her on.
How grateful I am for cheering sections!