Ever since I was little I have always been a lover of music. My mom told me that the first word I ever said wasn’t the typical “Momma” or “Dadda” it was Hallelujah. She said they would be in the middle of doing something and all of a sudden I would lift my hands and start saying, in a sing-song voice, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Music has always been ingrained in me. As I grew older I used to dress up and pretend that I was doing concerts. I would use whatever I could find for a microphone like a hairbrush, hairspray and yes… even a hair dryer.
I grew up in the state of Missouri and my most favorite thing to do was to go see the local bands in Kansas City whenever I could. I would go to see bands like Abhor Evil a not commonly known heavy metal Christian band. But I must say that my all-time favorite band to see was called “Hot Pink Turtles.” On my 16th birthday my sister Jen somehow managed to talk them into coming and playing for my birthday party. One of the band members worked a 16 hour shift at his job just so he could play for my birthday. My sister Jen tricked me into thinking that she had to stop at this random place and had me go inside with her. When I walked into the building there was suddenly a video camera in my face followed by 50 people screaming “Surprise!” Then I saw the Hot Pink Turtles were on a stage playing music under the colored lights. It was The Best Birthday I Have Ever Had!!! They sang all of my favorite songs. And they even sang Happy Birthday to me Hard Rock Style!! I Loved It!!!!
Well, it had been quite a while since I have gone and seen a band play. But this last weekend my sister Abi told me that P.O.D a Christian Hard Rock/Reggae band was coming to the SLO Brewing Co. (which is a restaurant/bar.) She asked me if I wanted to go. I said, “yeah that’d be cool.” I wanted to go because I liked some of their songs, and I was up for going out and having some fun. We got there and it felt like I was back in Missouri again. It turned out there were three bands that night. The first band of the night got up and played their songs, and I thought overall they were good.
Next, the second band came up and started to perform. As the lead singer started into their second song he began to become more and more vulgar in his actions and later on in his words. He had a particular word which was an obscenity that he liked to say over and over and over. He even dedicated a song to the word by repeatedly singing it for about five minutes straight. I must say that I could feel myself getting very perturbed at his behavior and was noticing these little girls about 6 yrs. old sitting on the side of the stage while he was doing all of this.
In that moment something unexpectedly rose up inside of me and I began to pray for this guy. I said in my mind, “Lord give this guy a revelation of your love.” I continued to pray for him and noticed him suddenly becoming a little disoriented and messing with his inner ears headset. I prayed, “Yeah Lord just speak in his ears.” Although his behavior didn’t change much something changed in me when the band was finished performing . I began to think about what had happened. All the sudden I felt the love of God for this guy. I thought, “He is not a Christian so why on earth would I expect him to live like one.”
So many times it’s easy to take offense for someone’s behavior. And never once think about the fact that they may be reacting out of pain….or from something that happened to them. In those moments it’s easy to forget that I too have sinned. Done things that were wrong or said things that I shouldn’t have said.
I don’t understand all of the reasons why people “famous and non-famous” act the way they do. But I do know this “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”(Rom. 3:23) All of us need a Savior.
Mark 2:16-17 says, When the experts in Moses’ Teachings who were Pharisees saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, he said to them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. I’ve come to call sinners, not people who think they have God’s approval.”
As P.O.D. took the center stage that night. Over the loud speakers the words came,” Warning there will be side effects from this. Side effects of positivity, effects of love….” The atmosphere began to change as words of life were being spoken. They began to speak the word of God over the crowd. I watched the people that night. Ones who were drunk, and ones who wore a facade to protect their hurting hearts. It became so clear to me. Jesus came for these people. P.O.D. was shining God’s light in one of the darkest places.
This phrase resonated loudly in my heart, “The Light will shine the brightest in the darkest of places.”
We live in a world of darkness. Where destruction is evident. People are killing people. People are clinging to addictions in order to numb the pain that has been afflicting their hearts. I discovered that I don’t want to be like the Pharisees. Pointing a finger at people. Saying to those who are struggling with sin, “How dare you sin in front of me!! Don’t you know that I am holy and you should be holy around me too?”
When I look at Jesus, I see a friend of sinners! Who never once said, “you are scum.” “You don’t deserve hope.” “You don’t even deserve my love or my salvation.”
John 3:16-17 says..God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.
It is a rare thing now a days to hear about hope. I see so many people hurting everywhere. People are looking for a way out and looking for an answer. Just the other day I watched a show where Oprah did a series called “Life Class.” On the show she had Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes share about practical principles. I watched as people who felt they had no hope become encouraged by these men of God. They chose to step out and bring light into the darkness and the result was healing in broken relationships.
Everywhere that I go I want to let The Light God has put in me shine into the darkness. I want people to know Hope Is Here For All Of Us!! I don’t want to spend my life missing out on what Jesus wanted everyone to know. He came to save us not condemn us. If he doesn’t condemn me for my wrongdoing, or withhold His love because of my imperfections I must do the same for others.
My prayer is that I would be one who lives this scripture.
Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”
I Want My Light To Shine Bright In The Darkest Places Of The World!