My Bench Has Room for You

2 comments Posted on March 8, 2014

Made with Repix ( Jan Kern

Tucked away benches are treasured places for me. As I draw closer, I sense God’s invitation, “Come, my bench has room for you.” But what if that bench has room not only for me but also for another? After all, aren’t benches made for more than one?

Lately a familiar challenge is stirring again to look closely at those tucked away spaces in my life where I can make room for others—to be present, to listen, to encourage and support.

scarsAnother time when that challenge prodded me came when I wrote the Live Free series for Standard Publishing, nonfiction books for teens and young adults struggling with serious battles, often addictive and destructive. As I listened to and wrote their unique stories, I saw a common thread, a crucial turning point. Someone had taken the time to notice, reach out and to genuinely listen. In response, they began to believe if people cared maybe God did too.

The hope builder for each young person I interviewed was an ordinary person, available. Common age didn’t matter. Formal training wasn’t required. Neither was personal acquaintance with the same battles. Being real. Being there. Being willing to listen and care. That’s what counted.

Each was willing to say, “Come, my bench has room for you.”

Jan KernJan Kern is women’s retreat speaker, credentialed life coach, and author of five books, including Scars That Wound, Scars that Heal—A Journey Out of Self Injury, an ECPA Gold Medallion finalist in the youth category. When she’s not writing, speaking, and coaching, she serves alongside her husband at a residential ministry for at-risk youth in northern California.
Learn more about Jan at
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Twitter: jankern


  • 03/10/2014
    Susan Sage said:

    I love this. It is right along the lines of how I’ve tried to purpose my life as God has brought different struggling, hurting people across my path. I love the thought of the bench. Thanks, Jan.

  • 03/11/2014
    Jan Kern said:

    Susan, thank you for sharing. I love how God stirs our heart for His purposes for loving those He uniquely brings into our lives. May your bench me occupied often!


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