Bottom of the 9th - View from the Concession Stand
View from the Concession Stand
by Meredith Weide
If you have ever stood inside the open window of Valor Christian High Schoolâ€™s baseball concession stand looking out, you know it doesnâ€™t have the best view of the baseball field. In fact, the direct line of sight is of the back of the visitorâ€™s dugout â€“ a lovely example of brickwork that I have examined and even counted the brown rectangles on slow summer days. If you move all the way to the right in the window, you might catch a glimpse of the back side of the home plate umpire. If you feel like body surfing on the windowâ€™s counter, you might be able to check the score, but only if itâ€™s not late afternoon when the sun outshines the lights of the scoreboard.
A lot of conversation with people at the concession stand centers around our lack of view. Visiting families are quick to notice that it qualifies as â€œobstructed viewâ€ seating. Valor families are happy to share some play by play and the box score. There have been some clever ideas to overcome our dilemma: a periscope, closed circuit television, even a roofâ€“top bistro with the best view in the park (a girl can dream!). Sometimes, when visiting another schoolâ€™s ball field, I find myself coveting my neighborâ€™s concession stand when itâ€™s located behind home plate.
The truth is, itâ€™s not a bad thing that you cannot see the game from the concession stand. Everyone is looking toward the field, so it gives me a chance to observe the very human condition of watching people watching their children, and that is fascinating. There is the usual cheering for good things that happen for their team. There is the disheartening cheer that goes up for bad things happening to an opponent. There is the gasp of close calls and moans for injuries that are my signal to ready an ice pack. There is the quiet of a hit batsman. There is the jeer for a bad call (of course, that is usually accompanied by the cheer for the same call by the other set of parents). I see nervous pacing, video whirring, cameras snapping, riveted eyes ... all creating a lasting image of this wonderful time in our childrenâ€™s lives. Iâ€™ve seen enough baseball to know that the players cannot possibly be as nervous or intent as the collection in my field of view. I know for certain, the comments coming from the stands are more animated than anything happening on the diamond.
We are parents and we want our children to succeed. Baseball gives plenty of opportunity for success, and just as many opportunities for the opponent to succeed. Someone, somewhere has something to cheer about, and from my corner of the ball field, I get to witness it all.
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17
This is the verse I think of when I find myself wishing that fans would be fans of the game and all the good things happening in front of them. Be well pleased with your son, but be well pleased that every player you are watching is a child of our heavenly Father, and He is cheering for each and every one of them. When you watch from the concession stand, you become less impressed by the athleticism on the field, and more engaged with the task to which we are all called ... we are all called to raise up our children â€“ all of our children! Join me in the concession stand sometime. There is another side to this game, you shouldnâ€™t miss.
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