Last night was amazing!
A month ago I discovered that Switchfoot was coming to Portland. I sent an invitation out for someone to join me for the concert. Plans were made. Tickets purchased. And the days counted down. Last night four of us headed downtown via the MAX to see the show.
After standing for 2 hours the doors finally opened. A short trip up 3 flight of stairs we reached the Crystal Ballroom. I was completely surprised that it was a standing only concert. Ok, granted my experience with concerts is very limited. But at that point I knew there was NO way I could stand for another 3 hours and if I found myself in the middle of a very close crowd…I just didn’t want to risk it.
Luckily there was a bench on the side of the room and that is where I stayed. The entire night. And it was absolutely perfect! Because I could stand on the bench, I was able to see above the crowd. And we were close enough to see the bands. The opening act was The Royal Concept. They were cool, although definitely not my type of lyrics. Finally the time arrived and Switchfoot came on the stage! (My phone battery died just a little bit afterwards!)
It’s one thing to listen to the songs on the radio…it’s a whole other to be there, seeing the artist, hearing the music and being part of a large crowd. It is electrifying and I understand why people like concerts.
The funny thing about Switchfoot is that they are not a Christian band…in name. Perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to their music…their words. I admit it’s weird being a girl who grew up with a mixture of country, gospel, hymns and choral music to like Switchfoot. Their music is edgy. The guitar…ya…now you know my secret love. I LOVE rock guitar. It’s usually the voices that cause me to not like rock music. But I absolutely LOVE the music.
As I stood there, listening to the music, the conversations in my mind began. Teachings against rock music tumbled in my heads. What was worst than rock music? Rock musicians claiming to be Christian. What was worst than that? Believing that music was anything but “ungodly”, our version of the phrase, “Of the devil”.
But I didn’t SEE the ungodly last night. What I saw was a glimpse of the Kingdom. I saw people wanting MORE than what they have now. I saw people who were living out loud. Not ashamed to enjoy the rock music and believe…I saw people who if given the truth about who they are and who HE is and where they are would change the world.
“Welcome to the planet…welcome to existence…”
And for once…I saw myself. Alive. Standing there in a room with strangers and feeling totally alive. In that moment, I saw the beauty of my Savior radiate through a room of people I have never met before. And I just wanted to scream (but didn’t)…and I wanted to laugh (but didn’t)…and I wanted to cry (but didn’t). Instead I sang. Clapped my hands. (WAY COOL!) Enjoyed the fact that I was alive at that very moment and I could see the Kingdom.
Everyone’s Here. Everyone’s Here.
I understood why Jesus used parables to describe the Kingdom. You have to be born again to see. And being born again is not what I used to think it meant. It doesn’t mean you speak in tongues. You read the right bible version. You go to church faithfully four times a week, 52 weeks a year. You wear your long skirt, long sleeve modest garments. You never cut your hair and keep it pulled up in a holy bun.
Being born again is realizing that you are alive. 100% totally alive. When you realize it, the world becomes so much more than you can see with your physical eyes. You can find him standing on the side of Burnside waiting for a concert. You can see him as you sing with hundreds of people. You can feel him in every cell of your body and know YOU ARE ALIVE.
The tension is here. Tension is here. Between who you are and who you could be. Between how it is and how it could be.
As for those voices in my head telling me that I’ve been deluded to believe a lie…I know longer believe them. I don’t feel like I’m lost. I don’t feel like I’m doomed because I like listening to a rock band sing about things that are deeper than just Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible told me so.
I Dare you to move. I dare you to move. Like today never happened. Today never happened before.
On what they call Resurrection Day, I found my soul resurrected. Alive. Feeling who I was for the first time. And I’m amazed. Beyond words. Just how wonderful this feels. And I keep asking myself, “Does it get better than this?” I laugh at the thought. Of course it does! And I can’t wait.