-There’s the cute boy with rolled up jean shorts and a mic. surrounded by four other smooth voices that know how to dance and how to make “Howdy Houston” sound way exciting. And the teenage girls with deafening screams holding up thick Marks-a lot lettered poster boards spelling out “Marry Me Niall” and “I love you Harry”. Guess where I was Friday night? Hallie and I lucked into One Direction tickets. I felt as if I’d been transported back to 1988 to The New Kids on the block concert. (NKOTB was the boy band of my days.)
It wasn’t so long ago that I don’t remember. Those boy bands; a combination of perfect faces and lyrics that make you feel like you’re somebody special.
Yes. New Kids on the block was the boy band of the late eighties and I had a favorite band member. “Mine” was Jordan Knight. He had perfect hair even while rocking it out on stage; hair more perfect than I and my spray bottle of Aussie ever dreamed of constructing with that permed mop of mine. My eighth grade year a friend of mine scored tickets to their concert in Dallas. And she invited me!
I remember seeing a black limousine with tinted windows as we arrived at the concert. I pressed my face close to the window just in case that was them, you know….THEM! I needed them, well Jordan, to be able to see me. If not in the parking lot or shuffling to our seats, I desperately wanted Jordan to see me standing in front of my seat, tiny speck that I’d be- three hundred yards away- amongst forty thousand other tiny specks, singing along to “The Right Stuff”.
Because even though he had better hair than I did, and a smooth voice and all the right lines, and millions of fans…..if he knew me…… No. If he’d just see me, he’d know that I was someone special. He’d want to get to know me. He’d think I had nice hair too. And even my shy awkward mumblings and my tendency to avoid eye contact wouldn’t keep him from seeing that I was beautiful. That I was special. I had that kind of hope that night.
That same kind of hope was palpable last night.
I watched my daughter smile in a way that I seldom see. She was in the company of a multitude; bright smiles singing
You’re insecure,Don’t know what for,You’re turning heads when you walk through the door,Don’t need make-up,To cover up,Being the way that you are is enough,………..But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell,You don’t know,Oh, oh,You don’t know you’re beautiful,
There were so many voices. Deafening voices that drowned out the lyrics meant for them. Still, they listened hard; they listened beyond to the words they so longed to hear. They listened to the words meant for them.
But I tell you. I could have spent the entire night watching a ‘somewhere around seventeen-year-old girl’ two rows in front of me who graced her brown hot-rolled hair with a daisy crown of sorts. She danced. And she sang. And she danced and she sang some more like there was nobody else in that stadium but her, that rocking headband of hers, and the boy band. At one point, the lights flashed and then it went dark. The band vanished in smoke. The screaming continued, but I do believe that her dear heart near stopped beating.
Minutes passed. Purposeless minutes. And then the boys were back. She melted. She covered her mouth with her hands and sobbed the happy kind of sob that comes when everything makes sense. She shook. She dissolved. She was once again in their presence.
THAT was enough.
In their presence, she was enough.
Silly as it may seem, this is most every
young girl’s heart. It may have been winning the affections of a boy’s band member (who turned forty years old in the blink of an eye), or wanting to earn the affections of “this or that boy” at school, or just wanting to be accepted and loved by those around you
when you sing every line right,
or when you sing a different tune,
even when you feel life hasn’t given you lines to sing.
School is here again. And I’m like “Daisy” (the headband girl) when the boys disappeared from the stage. I think something wonderful is over.
I’ve played with my girls. They’ve had a summer of protection where bad hair days are allowed. They’ve been loved and doted on by seldom seen family. They’ve watched age-old sitcoms on Netflix where every problem is solved in twenty-four minutes. I’m nervous for them. I know that’s unchristian of me being worried and downright afraid,……but I am.
School is nothing like a boy band concert.
I know a girl’s heart; the one that beats in this near four decade old heart and the one I believe beats in the heart of my eight year old, in the heart of my thirteen year old, and I believe beats in the heart of the girl you know too. We want to be loved. In the midst of the crowd, we want to feel both -not alone-, and like we’re the only one. We want to be sang to; words that echo who are.
My prayer is that it will be more revealed to my girls, and to “almost had a heart attack ‘Daisy” and to the other girls out there, that they are loved and cherished.
I want them to know, not just in their head, but know in their heart, that they are wonderfully made.
I know there will be days when they dance and sing believing that.
But there will be other days.
Dark days when they feel abandoned. Days when it feels that even “The One Who Loves Them More Than Any Other” has disappeared; HE HAS NOT. He is still there; not on some distant stage. I pray they will wait for and long for HIS company. I pray that those days of sadness, their lonliness, their confusion about life and it’s struggles are temporary. I pray that it’s through these times that they will know him not from a distance. He is near.
I hope that they will really know, I hope YOU really know girls……
Boy bands, as awe inspiring as they are, come and go.
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
Boy band lovers.
Girls across the globe.
These words are meant for you.