His teary eyes scanned the crowd milling through the door. Glancing back and forth from the bench to the stands, he waited for the game to begin. Waited for his father to see him play. But the clock started without him.

His dad was usually too busy with church stuff to get away. The pain of disappointment fueled his determination. He would never ever miss one of his children’s games.

It wasn’t that his dad didn’t care. He was a wonderful father. But it was different back then. His dad’s job came first. The parishioners and their families took precedence over frivolous sport activities. After all a pastor’s position could mean life and death. Extracurricular activities didn’t seem all that important in comparison.

But this little boy never forgot the way it made him feel.

When he became a dad, he vowed he’d be there. From basketball to soccer; tennis to golf; music recitals to school plays, he was in the audience. Supporting and cheering them on. He was what Joyce Landorf calls their “balcony person.”

What confidence and security he gave his sons! Dad was their biggest fan.

The years have passed quickly. But he never forgot how it felt not having his dad in the sidelines.

So his commitment remained strong when he became a grandfather. Leaving work early to make every game. Sitting in the bleachers. Coaching from the sidelines. The biggest fan of the next generation.

When his granddaughter’s basketball team made it to state finals, Grandpa was there. Proving how important she was. In fact, she had her own fan base. Her personal “balcony people.”

Two parents, four grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and very close friends were in the stands together. Twenty mouths chanting her name. Booing the refs. Clapping wildly.

The following picture is evidence of how much she means to us. How many kids travel with their own fan club? I realize not all parents can attend every activity, but when they do it speaks volumes to their kids.

“You’re important to us.”

“We’ll always have your back.

“You can do this.”

“We believe in you.”

Now you may not be a basketball family. Maybe it’s piano recitals, choir concerts, karate events, or spelling bees. Whatever you get to do for your kids and grandkids, do it with gusto! Let them know you’re behind them all the way.


It reminds me of Hebrews 12:1 describing a great cloud of witnesses watching us from the grandstands. It’s a picture of an athletic contest in a great amphitheater. The witnesses are heroes of the past who encourage us to run our race with perseverance.

What an example for us today! That kind of spiritual and emotional support is vital. Whether you have children or not, determine to be someone’s “balcony person.” Encourage others through your spoken words or written notes or a little pat on the back.

Can you imagine Jesus leaning way over your balcony assuring you of his love? Hearing Him shout, “I believe in you. You can do it. Keep at it.” How would that change your life?

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God ourFather,

who loved us and by his grace gave us

eternal encouragement and good hope,

encourage your hearts and strengthen you

in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Partner with Him to be someone’s balcony person. Picture Jesus and you leaning way over your child’s balcony. Cheering, encouraging and supporting their efforts. Believing in their abilities.

Don’t miss the opportunity to let your child’s spirit soar on your wings of affirmation.

Who’s the president of your children’s fan club? I hope it’s you.

Just don’t fall off the balcony waving!

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