Archive | June, 2016

God (apparently) Goes To My Shows

22 Jun

I’m not an overly religious person. I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church and have very private feelings about church, religion, God and everything in between. Having said that, I’m going to tell you a story that I have absolutely no explanation for.  It doesn’t mean I found the answer to God or the Afterlife, but it is a very difficult thing to wrap my head around.

Many years ago, I was playing an acoustic show at a place called Harpo’s in Kansas City.  It was a regular gig for me that I did every Thursday night and occasionally on Fridays and Saturdays.

But this particular night started out rough for me, even before I walked in their doors.  Earlier that day, I was working out at the gym and twisted my ankle on the treadmill. I sprained it so bad that walking was a struggle all within itself. But the show must go on and I showed up to Harpo’s that night, limping and hurting the whole time.

Somehow, someway, I loaded in my gear and proceeded to play my show that evening when a couple in attendance liked what I was doing–so much so, that during one of my breaks, they asked me to come sit with them and talk.

I went to their table and here’s what I can remember about our conversation:

Them:  So some of the songs you have sang so far have a religious undertone to them. Do you believe in God?

Me:  Ummm…well, yes and no. I don’t really like to talk about my beliefs.

Them:  That’s okay.  We just wanted you to know we hear the presence of God in your voice and wanted to thank you for sharing your gift with us.

Me:…………..thank you…um, thank you.

Them: We noticed on your walk to our table that you have a limp?  Did you hurt yourself?

Me:  Yeah, I was running on the treadmill this morning and twisted my ankle pretty bad.

Them:  Can I ask you if it’s okay that we pray for you?

I locked up. I’m in the business of trying to make fans and I don’t want to tell anyone who appreciates what I do to go screw themselves. I didn’t think their prayers were appropriate  in a bar with so many people around, trying to get their drink on. I also didn’t want to have a prayer meeting with the Almighty in front of said crowd listening in. But…I also have no backbone sometimes and told them, “Sure, that’s fine”

In that instant, they grabbed my hands, bowed their heads, and began praying without hesitation to the Lord.

Them:  Dear Lord, thank You for blessing us with this talented musician’s gifts tonight. Thank You for putting us in this bar tonight to hear him sing Your Praises. And we ask of You tonight to take care of this young man and his hurt ankle. Show him Your Love and heal his wound with Your Divine Love, so that he can feel Your Presence and spread the word of Your Gospel. Amen.

I won’t lie, I was embarrassed that I allowed this to happen in a bar that I worked at with so many people around, watching me be prayed over.  But I did allow it to happen, thanked them for their prayers and proceeded to get up and walk back to finish my set for the night. But here’s where it gets strange. As I got up to go play my set, my ankle didn’t hurt anymore.

I know this sounds hard to believe–and to this day–I don’t truly understand how that was possible. This wasn’t just a little ouch sprain.  This was a full-on ankle sprain that swelled up like a balloon and made it very difficult to walk without a limp. Yet, as soon as I got up from their table, the pain was gone. It was as if that sprain never happened and I was completely fine.

Even after it happened, I fake-limped back to my guitar, because I didn’t want them to know whatever they said to God had worked. But as soon as I put weight on that foot, there was no pain. There was nothing left of the struggle I had endured since I had sprained it.

I don’t know what this means. Some of you who have faith probably know exactly what that means to you. Others without faith probably read this and have your own assessment of where the truth lies. I’m not writing this to start a debate among those with faith or without–I’m just telling you the facts.  My ankle was severely sprained and after being prayed over, it wasn’t.

I hope that couple at Harpo’s read this someday, but that’s probably wishful thinking. I never saw them again and probably never will, but when I question my life’s course and if there’s anyone out there of Higher Power, logic usually says there isn’t….But I’m wrong all the time and I have this story to back that up.

And its not just this story that defies logic.  Some kind of Higher Power has had my back before, even when I thought the idea of God was crazy. When I was getting a divorce, I prayed every night to God to look after me. And guess what?  During the hardest time in my life, I never felt more at peace. I hope there is a God and I hope He forgives me someday when I’ve question Him.