A Seat Just for You

For a variety of reasons, during our years in the city school system, neither of our sons have ridden the bus. This year, however, they both start new schools, and they both will be passengers on the big yellows. Today was the launch, and the last 48 hours they’ve been a bundle of nerves. Do you think there will be a seat on the bus for me? Do you think I’ll know anyone on the bus? I hope I have a friend on the route.

This morning, before putting on his brave face and his over-stuffed pack, Seth told me, “Right now, I’m 12-14% nervous.”

Downtown, there’s a breakfast crew that meets every weekday morning at Cafe Cubano. For over 25 years, this cadre of friends has sloshed coffee, passed the news and (as they’ve told me) come to be family for one another. On my morning run, I noticed a new couple had joined the circle, a man and woman in their mid-sixties. Two more seats were pulled up to the table. The conversation was lively as always, only now new voices joining the fray.

I ran past, smiling and wondering what it must have felt like to be invited into that tightly knit group, one with such a history and story, how grand it must have been to have someone point to a chair and say, “Hey, this is for you.”

Decades separate the hearts in these two events today, but the moments are not so different. Children grow up, but we all still wonder if there will be a seat saved for us.

8 Replies to “A Seat Just for You”

  1. This rings true for me in so many ways. There have been many times when I felt there was no seat for me at the table. It’s better now, but it was a long stretch there for awhile…

  2. Hey Winn. I attend Clemson United Methodist now and your post reminded me of something that the pastor’s say before Communion is done. “This Communion is not done just for the Methodists or the Methodist church, but instead there is a seat at God’s table for all who hunger and thirst for him”. It nearly brings me to tears every time I hear it.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    In Him,


  3. Interesting what the concerns of a child are – different from the parents’ concerns, yet, as you say, universal. We live in a (theoretically) non-smoking apartment building. We have noticed that the smokers seem to have their own little community in their little circles on the grounds, and it feels like there wouldn’t be room for any newcomers, especially non-smokers. But you never know.

  4. At almost 65 years of age there are several answers: Who will be the ones or ones who offer the seat today? And on some days the answer is this: Who do I offer the seat to today? All depending on am I comfortable enough today to dispel all the emotions of me being the new one, so I can be the one who offers the seat? It’s a lifelong lesson and struggle.

    I’m thankful for all of the times that there was not a seat offered to me. For those experiences, including their own pain is the reason I try so hard to be a person who offers seats even when I’m not sure I’m a welcomed seat taker.

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