Thursday, July 31, 2008

I was in Nashville last week to play a date at Christ Presbyterian church. In addition to getting to see these cool little Watson boys to the left, I got to reconnect with a lot of old friends and made a few new ones. They are running a summer concert series and I was honored to be asked to be a part of it. Tom Grassi is the worship pastor there and, I have to say, I felt very, very welcome.

I had lots of good conversations with Tom as the date drew near. Being in Nashville, Tom has access to tremendous players – many are members of their church and play there regularly. So, Tom offered to pull a band together for me. Given the circumstances and top-notch guys he could pull in, I told him to go for it!

Again, I was thankful for all of Tom’s work in preparing the charts, the band lineup, etc. for the concert. I showed up at the church at 3:30 in the afternoon and they were already running songs. I set up my stuff, took my place and folded into the mix with them. We got to work for an hour and a half. It’s hard to walk into an unfamiliar setting with strangers playing your music. Great bands take years to get to know each other. You can feel it and hear it.

The common bond, though, with brothers in Christ transcends a lot of the unfamiliar. And the music that directs us toward Him makes a difference, too. I felt like these new friends were familiar brothers.

It felt so good to have others on the stage with me. Most every night, I’m playing solo, unplugged. These guys were great players and it just made the night more electric for me and hopefully, for those in the audience.

Thanks, Tom.

Added to the just plain fun of playing along with these brothers on stage, was the fact that there were a couple of dozen old friends in the audience. People from record companies long past were there. Too many to name, but to get to stand around after the concert and see these friends, to know that time and distance hasn’t stifled the bond we have was a huge blessing. Some of them walked through some uncomfortable business experiences with me and now, years later, we can let what’s passed stay in the past. Love covers a multitude of sins and misunderstandings, as it’s said. So many of the issues that seemed so important and urgent don’t mean much right now. They are overshadowed by faithful friendship, love between brothers and sisters in Christ, and the wisdom that comes with passing years.

Sunday, just past, I was in Cleburne, TX with Field Street Baptist Church. Dr. John Hall and his staff were waiting when I pulled up to the church – it was a 4 hour drive from my home in Houston. I like the windshield time so driving doesn’t bother me.

We went right to work on soundcheck and started the concert at 6 PM.

Most churches are doing away with Sunday night services and events so this felt like a very special occasion and a very special place. People were excited and were so responsive.

OK, I know I could go into all kinds of details about every night. Some of the details would be interesting – others would bore you to death. So what’s the point? The point is this: I’m still just overwhelmed and more thankful than I can tell you that I still have a platform, still have opportunities, and still have a literal voice to use to sing about my Lord. When I walk out into a room full of people, whether the room is a thousand or a hundred, I still think to myself how blessed I am that people come out to hear this music. Sure, some of them want to hear stuff from 25 years ago and some nights, I play it! But really, the night is about communicating the Amazing Grace and Mercy. I know, for example, a good number in the crowd in Cleburne, TX had never heard most of the songs I played that night. Many were sweet, faithful seniors – some probably didn’t like the volume or the guitar or the jeans or whatever – but this was their church home and they were there! And afterwards, I got just as many handshakes, smiles and kind words from them as from the new teenage fans that were there.

It was just sweet.

This weekend, I’m off to Kansas City, MO to the suburb of Leawood. If you’re around, come by and see me at The Church of the Resurrection. I’m there Saturday night at 5PM for their worship service, then Sunday morning, afternoon and then, a concert at 7 PM Sunday night.

Blessings. Thanks for your prayers.


1 comment:

Sharolyn said...

Wayne, Tom Grassi sure is missed at his home church in California, but I am delighted to hear that he is playing with people the likes of you.

"So many of the issues that seemed so important and urgent don’t mean much right now. They are overshadowed by faithful friendship, love between brothers and sisters in Christ, and the wisdom that comes with passing years." - Well said! Christianity at its finest.