Home of the Brave
We were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children. 1 THESSALONIANS 2:11
Maurice “Mo” Cheeks has enjoyed a long and successful career as a player and coach in the National Basketball Association. But in my opinion, his greatest moment in basketball had nothing to do with the action on the court. On this day in 2003, 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert began singing the national anthem in front of the Portland Trail Blazers’ home crowd—as well as a national TV audience.
Shortly into the song, she jumbled some words, and then she froze. Panicking, she held the microphone to her forehead, as if searching her brain for the right words. But just as she was about to give up (and look for the proverbial hole to crawl in), “Mo” Cheeks stepped to her side and began singing the song with her, helping her hold the microphone in place. Urging the crowd to join in, he stayed with her the whole way, his off-key voice shadowing hers in sweet duet. It sounded awful, but it was beautiful. And you could see (and hear) Natalie’s confidence grow stronger with every line.
“He totally saved me,” Natalie told an interviewer. “I was walking off afterward, and he said, ‘Don’t worry, kid—everyone has a bad game once in a while.’ ” As our kids would say, “Cool.” The episode reminded me of the power we have as parents to come alongside and encourage our children. They need to dream big and shoot high, to put themselves out there into the battle where they run the risk of failure. And when they stumble—as they sometimes will—they need us to be there. Be all there, occasionally with the right words to see them through. They should never have to fall on their face too far from where our arms are.
Regardless of your children’s ages, in what areas do they need your active encouragement right now?
Pray that your words of affirmation, belief and support will be encouraging and uplifting.
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