Bench Blessing

Their high pitch encouraging screaming was absolutely deafening. And that was the point! In fact for some it was their primary contribution, and their main role on the team. They are the players who spend the vast amount of not only the game, but the entire season on the bench. And every successful team has a cadre of great teammates who rarely get playing time but are an integral part of the secret sauce. The “bench” is the supportive scaffolding of the team.

As a young person Andrew B was filled with endless energy that always rode the edge of attractive and annoying. Andrew matured into an incredible charismatic life force. Always more than happy to bring his enthusiasm for life to pump up the crowd or support a person in need.

As a young person Andrew L was rambunctious, mischievous and had this infectious smirk and twinkle in his eyes. As Andrew matured so did his antics, yet in much more subtle and humorous ways. Andrew was a fiercely faithful friend who never failed to support the people in his life.

Both Andrews tragically died over the last number of months. As you might imagine their deaths are a great loss to all of us who were blessed to share their journey. Both were my “camp kids” so my grief is pronounced with the loss that comes from being a part of loving and nurturing a person.

This summer I will be a part of the blessing of a bench each for Andrew B and Andrew L. With amazing vistas each bench sits on sacred ground of communities where they played, prayed, loved and where they were loved by a wonderful faithful community.

Benches at their best, whether on the sidelines, on a playground, in a park or in the wilderness, provide a supportive space for rest and reflection, conversation and contemplation, encouragement and enlightenment. I am grateful for all the benches that have and continue to be a part of my journey and am certain these two new benches will be a blessing for me and for many.

Come rest here beside me, here in this small space we have found for one another,
where the chatter of an anxious world seems hushed,
and the winds of worry are tamed to a gentle breeze.
Sit quietly for a moment.
Lay your troubles aside.
They will be there when you leave.
For now feel the blessing of just being safe in a welcome ever genuine,
at peace in the company of those who know you and love you all the more for the knowing.
Come rest here beside me.
Together we will watch the clouds teach us to pray. – Steven Charleston


6 thoughts on “Bench Blessing”

  1. Pamela Piedfort

    Lovely. I’m so sorry for your loss in the midst of such great sorrow in our country.

  2. Ronco Wong Cole

    Amen brother, my life has been blessed with the chance to spend moment with and count Andrew L as one in “my community.” I really appreciate the framing of the benches and the role they can play in all our lives, Amen

  3. Thanks for your work with camp kids as the journey. Andrew L’s bench will be a glorious focus for discussion and laughter

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