I received an invitation to attend Getty Music’s Sing! An Irish Christmas a few days before Christmas. Saying yes to the invitation would mean a late drive home on a work night, but I am so thankful I said yes. The evening was beyond full. It was overflowing.
Two friends went along, and we stopped to eat at a favorite Irish pub to get into the mood of the evening. We stepped away from our usual routine and chatted about many things. It was a busy time for us all, yet taking a long evening off our routines seemed to ease the pressure of the season instead of intensifying it.
My oldest daughter and her husband live close to the pub, so I was able to stop by and briefly say hi before they left on vacation.
One of the kindest, most genuine men I know was the one who made the evening possible because of his connection with the concert tour, and he graciously and generously made sure our evening was an abundant blessing. From time to time, I could hear his stunning deep voice as the room filled with congregational singing. Seeing or speaking with him has always been an encouragement to me, and that evening was no different. He makes people comfortable with his presence, and I have no doubt it is because of his authentic faith. He has lived even the toughest experiences with transparency and trust in God, and I deeply respect him and his wife.
The tour was nearing an end, and he looked tired, even weary. I know he finds much joy in the ministry opportunities he has through his work, but a full travel season, especially around the holidays, easily challenges our joy and peace. I wanted to pray for and with him, and those few minutes of prayer following the concert in a room rich with God’s presence was deeply sweet to me.
The evening’s experience with friends was beautiful, yet it paled in comparison to the experience with God. Musicians and vocalists poured out sounds that resonated in my soul. They worshiped and invited each of us in that room to join them.
I looked around the room and began to notice individuals – a young man singing in the choir, a older couple holding hands, a mother and daughter, groups of people and individuals, including everyone on stage. I began to ponder on the variety of people and experiences in the room. Who knows what each person had dealt with that day and what they would face the next day? Some had received great news, and others were reeling from uncertainties or crises. Some would experience struggles or celebrations the following day. But for that two hours, we worshiped together. Our souls connected because of who God is.
That was the point of the concert – to experience and appreciate God’s presence. To yield to him and to know him more deeply.
Sometimes the combination of the parts is much greater than the sum. Each of us gave what we could. For some, there was likely hesitancy and apprehension. For others, everything we had available poured out through song and soul. But God added to the equation to fill the space with purity, pruning, and a peace that passes our worldly understanding.
I sighed and sensed God smiling.