a little more time on the court…

Jadon looked at me from across the court. He was sitting with his teammates on the bench. It was “senior night,” and with about three minutes to go in the game, our boys had a significant lead. I was sitting in the bleachers. I knew what he wanted. I’d been expecting his glance all night. Accordingly, I had my eyes fixed on him for most of the last quarter of the game. As soon as he caught my eye, his face said it all. And even though I heard no words from his lips, I knew what he was asking of me.

“Mom, can I go in the game?”

I was ready with my reply. I’d been working up to it all day; a mothering nervousness had needled me from the early morning hours, wreaking havoc on my digestive track. This was a big deal. Four months ago, the “big deal” was my son surviving the ambulance ride to Charlotte. Four months ago, I would have been happy with my son waking up and (on command) giving me his thumbs up. But last night, what was needed wasn’t his thumb’s up. What was needed, instead, was one of mine.

And so, across that ball-court, I gave him one … a thumbs up indicating my approval for him to enter the basketball game to play a little bit longer than his initial first-quarter, obligatory “start of the game” hoorah. Mind you, that would have been enough for him; it would have been enough for all of us, but something inside of me moved me to risk allowing him to have a little more time on the court.

A little more time on the court.

Another moment or two to bask in the gloriousness of it all. My dad would call it a Hoosiers’ moment (you remember that movie, right?). You know the kind–the glory that comes around once in a lifetime that celebrates a great accomplishment, a milestone that collects as a stone of remembrance and serves as dinner-table conversation for generations to come.

No, it wasn’t the closing moments of the NCAA Final Four. It wasn’t even the closing moments of Scotland Christian Academy’s basketball season. But for Jadon (and for us) it was a moment that felt just as weighty and significant. The miraculous work that God began in Jadon on the night of September 14, 2018, was on display and in full measure as Jadon was able to score his only basket of the season. His name and his two points are now forever recorded in the annals of SCA basketball history. They are forever etched on our hearts as well.

And today, nearly twenty-four hours removed from that gloriousness, the memory that most beautifully resonates within me is not when Billy and I were standing next to Jadon on the court when his name and senior status were announced. It’s not his dramatic and certain entrance onto the court, leading the team out from the locker room (although that was magical!). It isn’t even his scoring a bucket (and the gracious gift of an opposing team making the way for him to do so – thank you Antioch coach and team!). No, the moment that stirs my heart this morning and that forces the tears to flow gently down my cheeks, is the memory of the look shared between a mother and a son–an understanding that gave my boy…

A little more time on the court.

In these past four months, there have been many times when I’ve had to give my “yes” even though I would have rather given my “no.” Last night was not one of them. I didn’t have to give my “yes” but in not doing so, I would have missed the joy of watching my son playing alongside his teammates and of honoring the Father’s mighty work in Jadon’s recovery.

Some moments are worth the risk. Some moments are worth …

A little more time on the court.

Who of us doesn’t want the same … more time on the court? A moment or two longer to get in the game, to feel the court beneath our feet, the ball within our grasp, and the hammer of feet pounding alongside us as we inch our way closer to the goal? Who of us doesn’t want to feel the glory of a senior night that plays itself out in an arena before a home crowd hungry for a win? To suit up, wear the number, lace the shoes, and charge on to the court with adoring fans championing our every step? Who of us doesn’t want to look across the court, see our Father in the bleachers, and get his holy nod of approval for a little more time on the court?

There is something eternally beautiful about that picture, a truth that should both enliven and encourage our spirits today. It’s a comfort that sows deeply in mine, so much so that I don’t want to overstate the moment for you … to project too many of my own thoughts into what your heart might already be considering. But I do hope you’ll consider this:

Your Father is in the bleachers and he has given you a little more time on the court.

Is there risk involved? Well, all of life seems to call for it at some point. But with our Father in the stands, there is no game we will play, no risk we can take, where we’re not without his watchful eye and within reach of his loving arms. So, suit up. Get in the game, and go forth in his power and his love. Apparently, God has given us all …

A little more time on the court.

Peace for the journey,

Thanks to Nick Tippett for this video footage!

And here’s Jadon’s mighty entrance onto the court…

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6 Responses to a little more time on the court…

  1. This is gloriously beautiful. Such an answer to prayer. It gave me cold chills to see Jadon run out onto the court, knowing what happened four months ago. Praise to God for restoring Jadon.

    I’ve missed your writing, Elaine. All my love to you and your family.

    • Leah, I love you too! I miss writing. Every now and again, some words slip out. I am grateful for each one of them.

  2. Praise to God for the miracles He has performed on Jaden’s behalf ! We are fearfully and wonderfully made and The God that knows the numbers of hairs on our head is in control of our lives as He has shown here ! I am so happy to see Jaden running out on that Basketball court ! Bless his heart ! I will continue to keep him in my prayers ! Please keep us posted on how he is doing !

    • Thank you, Marsha, for keeping us all in your prayers. No doubt, prayer has played a very important role in Jadon’s healing. We are grateful for each one!

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