Shared by MBS Parent Alisa Lacombe
Taken from the Blog, Proverbs Ministry - Author, Alicia Bruxvoort
The Buddy Bench
"What'd you do at recess today?" I asked my 7-year-old, Magdalene, as we lingered with ice cream cones on the back deck at the end of a hot school day.
My daughter licked a chocolate drizzle from her lips and closed her eyes as if the answer to my question might be painted across the back of her eyelids. She paused for a moment; her cone dangling drippy in mid-air as she gathered her thoughts. Then a toothless grin spread across her face. Her eyes popped open in sync with her smile. "I played a game on the monkey bars,” she said. “And kept an eye on the
, of course."
It may not be a timeless staple like the chain-link swings or the classic monkey bars, but the
is my favorite feature on my daughter’s elementary school playground. A simple wooden seat planted on the edge of the kid-filled chaos, the
is a silent summons to be
instead of overlooked,
instead of forgotten,
instead of lonely. When a child needs a friend, she sits on the
When a child feels left out or left behind, he sits on the
. When a child longs for a helping hand, a listening ear, an empathetic soul, she sits on the
This precious playground seat carries no stigma nor shame; it merely issues an unspoken invitation:
Will you join me in my time of need?
It’s a question we’ve all asked, isn’t it?
When the discouragement looms large or sadness swells sore, we wonder —
Who will offer hope in our hopelessness?
Who will extend mercy in our mess?
Who will proffer prayer in our pain?
That little buddy bench paints such a poignant picture of childlike friendship that the first time my daughter told me about it, I swallowed down a lump of tears and swiped at a few drizzles of sadness that zig-zagged down my cheeks.
Maybe it was because I was stumbling through a wearisome wilderness of my own, and I longed for a friend to share my steps. Or maybe it was because sometimes, it feels like no one notices my silent struggles. But for whatever reason, on that particular day, I returned my daughter’s smile through a haze of hot tears and whispered, “I wish I had a
Later that evening, as I opened my Bible to the book of Hebrews, God reminded me He’s already granted my wish. I may not have the perfect pal planted on a wooden bench outside of my window, but I have a Faithful Friend seated on Heaven’s throne (Hebrews 12:2). And thanks to Christ’s accomplished work on the cross, I’m invited to sidle up to Him in prayer and find help in my time of need. And so are you!
Hebrews 4:16 puts it like this —
“So … come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
In elementary playground lingo, that sounds like an invitation to
Heaven’s Buddy Bench!
So, next time there’s no one to sit with us in our struggles, let’s seek our Savior who stands in the gap. And with childlike faith, let’s ask Him the question that’s burning on our hearts:
Will You join me in my time of need?
And I’m guessing that when we lean in and listen, we’ll hear Jesus say,
“I’ve been here all along.”