Experiencing Church Everywhere
If you live in the Nashville area and haven’t been to a songwriter’s event, you need to drop what you’re doing and find one to attend. The talent that writes and plays here is second to none. I had the privilege of hearing a writers in the round featuring Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey, and Rivers Rutherford at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens recently and… It. Was. Magical.
When we got to our seats, we were chatting with a couple of ladies in the row behind us and one of the ladies said her daughter was playing tonight. I assumed her daughter was part of the opening act. I was a bit dumbfounded when she told me her daughter was Hillary Lindsey, the brilliant songwriter who was one of the headliners at the event. I gushed about how amazing she was and she whole-heartedly agreed. She was beaming. The mama pride was seeping out of her pores. She was so excited for the night to begin.
As the songwriters began singing and telling their stories, I would glance back and look at Hillary’s mom. Many times when her daughter sang, she had her eyes closed and a smile on her face. Other times tears streamed down her cheeks. She was drinking in every note, every melody. I loved getting to see the stirrings of her heart expressed on her face. It was by far my favorite memory of the night.
When I considered it further, I was reminded that this is how the Father looks at His kids. When we do the thing we were created to do, He is sitting back, drinking it in, so proud of His kids. He delights in us, ya’ll. No matter your gifting, He is proud when we use the gifts He’s given us. It’s no wonder I was taken to church that night. I took part in a worship service. Were Christian songs being sung? Nope, just country songs. But creation often points to its Creator and the Creator put words and melodies into the hearts and souls of these songwriters. The Creator, in His kindness, lets us create things. He wants to partner with us in the creative process.
It says in His Word that where 2 or more are gathered in His name, God is there also (Mt. 18:20) One of my very favorite things is to be somewhere, anywhere, at a concert, in a garden, at a show, etc. and be taken to church. I adore that God will show up when I least expect it. I just thought I was going to listen to music. And that night, in that garden, with all those strangers, God was there. And maybe no one else had the same experience as me, but I’m willing to bet someone did because I could feel Him in my bones.
Where’s the last place God showed up and turned an ordinary experience into a holy one for you?
P.S. Seriously, go to a songwriter’s night. Like this weekend. Make it happen. You will not regret it. Unless your car gets towed, then there may be some regret.