We all need someone to stand by us some time. Television and print reports told the story of thirteen-year-old Natalie Gilbert. Natalie was asked to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" before a full house at a NBA playoff game. As sometimes happens, Natalie forgot the words. She closed her eyes and appeared to be on the verge of tears. Maurice Cheeks, head coach of the Portland Trailblazers, walked out on center court, placed his arm around Natalie and began singing with her He then asked the crowd to join them. What could have been enormously embarrassing turned into a great moment.
We all need someone to stand with us in our frailties and help us become better. People might sometimes help, but Jesus always will. By the way, Natalie has been asked to sing again next year.
J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.