Holy Saturday

Saturday mornings are for sleeping in. They’re for lazy traipses into the living room only to plop back down on the couch and submit to the weight of your eyelids once again for a mid-morning nap. They are for brunch. Not breakfast because that would require cooking and eating too early which is blasphemy to a snoozy Saturday morning.

But this past Saturday morning something encroached on my well-planned unplanned day. Addyson is a cheerleader and her squad was invited to cheer at a special needs sports program’s opening day. So us early birds rushed down the interstate 30 minutes south, sans breakfast (to buy an extra few minutes of sleep) at dawn so that we could beat the sweltering August heat.

We arrived to a bustle of activity. Moms and dads, brothers and sisters, coaches and guardians aiding in the ready-making of their loved one. The opening day ceremony field was littered with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and arm braces. Children stumbled around the field in an unorganized commotion as their coaches tried to coax them into standing still for the pomp and circumstance. Good luck with that.

The stands were full of eager and nervous fans when out walked, to my surprise, the voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide- Eli Gold. The voice that had called half a dozen national championships, colored the games of the gods as he commentated arguably the greatest college football program in the history of the sport, stood at the center of the field and helped tie a few shoes. When he spoke I assumed that it would feel misplaced. His usual Saturdays spent with super-humans, this day he would paint the play of the powerless.

With the opening pitch thrown, the games began. The coaches and helpers and cheerleaders numbered a 1:1 ratio to the players. The competitive fury of a normal sports day was replaced with patience and gentle voices. The stands felt the same as the crowd roared for every foul tip, every bunt stretched into a triple, every in-the-park, in-the-infield homerun.

The next day churches would fill with millions of men, women, and children in their Sunday best, but they would be hard pressed to find a more holy place than this sweltering August Saturday morning ball field.

There’s something sacred about a group of people who sacrifice their time and effort for a group of unnoticed children. Those who bring value to the unvalued by noticing the unnoticed. Where longsuffering replaces the fever of competition and the unabled bodied take center stage. The sanctity of that space is unmatched by any ornate stained glass cathedral.

Tiffanni doesn’t offer the same energy and life to every room that she once did. For the first time that I’ve known her, she fades into the corners- my wallflower. Her conversations are labored, her attention wains. But more times than not, when we’re out, when we’re at church, when we visit a friend, someone gets down on a knee, looks eye to eye with her and focuses all of their attention into her face. She’s slow to respond, a tardy grin on her best days. She can’t initiate, can’t reciprocate in the way that she once did.

But I notice.

I notice the patient one-sided conversations from a friend. I see the hand holds, cheek kisses, arm rubs, neck massages, minutes spent fanning the heat away. Each moment of value to the unvalued doesn’t escape me. I have never been a great giver or receiver of gifts, but there is none greater than the attention given my bride. So, to you who care so much and have noticed- thank you. If there are jewels or crowns or robes or mansions in the next life, and if I somehow wind up with something- you noticers can have mine. But I doubt it will come to that, for in my understanding of the Supreme, you’ve earned the greatest reward heaven bestows.

16 Comments for “Holy Saturday”

cindy Herschberg

says:

It really is the small gestures and the things that we feel go unnoticed that really matter and that I feel matter most to the Lord . May we all be used by the Lord in this manner and be his hands and feet and let everyone know that they matter and are not only loved but cherished no matter the disability , disease, struggles etc. Love your post as always you give us a view that we often dont see and gives us pause to reflect on how we can be used by the Lord.

Cissy McNish

says:

Although it is a different set of circumstances for us, I know exactly what you are feeling……
We to appreciate the ” noticers” in our lives…..
I love you PJ….💜

Barbie hayes

says:

I understand how fleeting moments of kindness can be etched your heart forever……I do believe that we reap what we sow. Tiffani has always been a “noticer”, kind, encouraging, a servant….she is reaping the seeds she has sown….Love you guys

Janet

says:

Enjoyed this post, as usual! There is nothing more precious or valuable that we can give others than our time and attention. Noticing someone and acknowledging how special they are is priceless. May we all remember to stop and take the time to do so!

D. Stephenson

says:

Thank you for eloquently sharing what we all need to have eyes to see, but without personal experiences in our journey, will only momentarily, at best, stop to see. Heartfelt pain through trials and tribulations can either make us or break us, but you choose the first and that choice brings God glory…His intended purpose. May God continue to strengthen you and bring healing to your beloved wife.

D. Stephenson

says:

Thank you for eloquently sharing what we all need to have eyes to see, but without personal experiences in our journey, will only momentarily, at best, stop to see. Heartfelt pain through trials and tribulations can either make us or break us, but you choose the first and that choice brings God glory…His intended purpose. May God continue to strengthen you and bring healing to your beloved wife.

Michelle Sorenson

says:

Jeremy, It blows me away that you took the time to talk to me and my husband about suffering and God when you are carrying such a heavy burden yourself. The brief conversation we had with you was SO HELPFUL to our lives and has changed the way we see God for the better. I wish we could be as helpful to you. Your sweet wife is in my prayers and our hearts are with both of you.

Susan Bethea

says:

Tiffany marks people. She marked many people while you guys were here in Atmore. I was marked by her. That is why so many people at AFA pray for her. She is getting back a portion of what she gave us. She is the one who will receive the reward.

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