“Must be on the front row!” … My husband has said that phrase often over the years. He usually says it when someone is hogging the highway or he feels entitled in some way. It actually comes from a Bob Uecker/Miller Lite commercial. Haha! Probably a bit strange to use a beer commercial for an inspirational blog post, huh?
Bob sat a seat other than his own at a baseball game and when the usher came to move him he said, “Must be on the front row!” Then the scene turns to him enjoying the game from the way up high in the stands on the back row. I hesitate to post a beer commercial here but it’s pretty funny so here’s the link if you’d like to watch it.
Speaking of front rows…
I remember a concert my husband and I went to once. It was in a beautiful old country church decorated with stained glass windows and worn wooden pews. Worn over time from kids sliding all over them which was probably followed by “the pinch” on the meaty part of the backside of your upper arm by the mom who told you “If you do that one more time…”. I digress…
In churches like this the acoustics are amazing. I knew this old church with high ceilings and wooden pews, would prove that to be true. The concert was open seating so we got to the venue early. The artists were, Andrew Peterson and Sara Groves, two of my most favorite singer/songwriters/humans. I wanted to be so close to them, their music, their words, their hearts. I wanted to make eye contact with them. In my dream world, they would have called me up on stage to sing backup and we would go back to the green room after and chat.
For those two hours, I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be known. I was brave. We sat on the front row. It was worth the risk.
Anyone who knows me well at all could testify that I’m not a front row kind of person. I’m not a fan of being seen or being known. I like my corners. I like my back rows. I like my dark spaces where I’m not exposed. Where no one can touch me. Where no one can hurt me. My heart feels safe on the back row.
Being on the back row is not necessarily bad but we should make sure we’re there for the right reason. The back row can be a place to sit but should not be a place to hide. The back row can be a place to rest for a time while we gather our courage to heal. We should be careful not to take up residence there. When we find ourselves in the dark, in the corner, on the back row, even though it may feel like we’re alone we’re not. God is always with us. He sees all. He knows all. And He cares.
He’ll keep us company on the back row until we’re strong enough to move. Then He’ll lead kindly with a gentle nudge when He knows we’re ready – when we’re brave enough or lonely enough or when it’s worth it enough. We’ll get there early and find our place on the front row. When we get there we’ll find the Best Musician of all time waiting to invite us on stage to be a part of the show. I bet we’ll even score a backstage pass.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. Colossians 1:13