One of the enduring memories from my youth is the sight of my parents showing up to my soccer and basketball games. During soccer season, my Mom would sit in the bleacher, usually with other mothers; and my Dad would stand along the sidelines, often wearing his daily work attire, a jacket, tie, and if need be, a raincoat. Neither parent was a big shouter at me, the ref, or the coach, thankfully. I don’t remember a lot of shouting from any parents, other than to voice their pleasure at a good play. Times have changed.
Until recently, neither of my sons played team sports. Sam, my oldest, is always asked, “You must play basketball, right?” Well, no, he doesn’t; even though at 6’7” and athletically built he looks like a baller, he isn’t. Rowing is his sport as of this fall. Miles, my youngest, has played baseball (for just two seasons before he got bored with it) and basketball (for three years with his Dad coaching him). Now, at a new school, Miles is playing soccer like his old man. Like Dad, Miles plays defense and goalie. He likes playing goal and seems to have a natural affinity for it. He loves to go out after the ball for he told me “Dad, at this stage, the players aren’t that good, so the ball plays off their foot quite a ways. I try to take the ball from them.”
So now, Leslie and I are showing up on soccer sidelines. We’re both thankful for our jobs that allow us to get away a little early watch our son play. When Sam has a regatta, we’ll do our best to stand along the shore.
Showing up silently sends an important message: You matter; and what you do matters too.
Years ago, during an interview with the New York Times Woody Allen, said, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.’ Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both.”
Christians show up. They jump out of their beds to show up.
We show up. Let’s count the ways Christians do it.
We show up in hospitals when someone is sick.
We show up at funerals when someone is grieving.
We show up at weddings and bring God to the party.
We show up in the homes of those who are grieving long after others have moved on with their lives.
We show up in friend’s house if we haven’t seen them in church recently.
We show up to apologize when the wrong is ours.
We show up on forgive when the wrong isn’t ours.
We show up in church because worship and learning about God (Christian Education) matters more than anything.
And, we show up on sidelines, auditoriums, and classrooms.
We are a showing-up people.