He always knows where his family sits. That’s what Ja Morant said in a recent interview following the Memphis Grizzlies’ Game 2 in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The minute I read that sentence my thoughts went to someone else who always knew where people sat. Every basketball game Richard and I ever attended, Forrest City Mustang basketball coach Dwight Lofton knew where we had been sitting. We never had to make eye contact with him. We rarely, if ever, knew he had seen us, until after the game.
Richard had many post-game conversations with “Lof”, as he called him. Soon after a Mustang basketball game Richard would come home and share his conversation with Lof from earlier in the day. In some ways it was always the same. Richard would remark on some play and tell Lof we had been at the Mustangs’ last game. “I know. I saw you. You and your wife were over in the middle section about a third of the way up. She didn’t like that charging call we got right before halftime, did she?” Lof would laugh. No. I hadn’t liked it at all. But I didn’t know Lof could see my expression or read my body language while I sat in the middle of hundreds of Mustang fans all the way across the court.
He always knew where we were sitting. Yet he still coached his team. He still noticed when Trey had trouble getting open for a shot. He still noticed if Marcus didn’t set a good pick. He still noticed when RJ passed up some of those long 3-pointers he was famous for.
But he always knew where we were sitting.
Occasionally I still marvel at the fact that God always knows where I am. While he keeps the earth spinning at a thousand miles per hour, angled perfectly on its axis, he still knows where I’m sitting. While governments rise and fall, while wars rage, while earthquakes reshape the landscape, God always knows where I’m sitting. His attention never leaves those in crisis, yet it is always on me. Whether I’m angry over an injustice or celebrating a miraculous victory, he always knows what I’m feeling, even though I’m light years away from the court of heaven, sitting among millions of his adoring fans.
When my life’s final buzzer sounds I hope my Coach meets me at the sidelines and says, “Good game! You played hard!” And I hope Lof is right there with him for my post-game conversation.
…for He looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens… Job 28:24, NLT
In honor of the memory of our dear friend Dwight Lofton.