It angers and saddens me that our current state of affairs reduced my child to sobs of anguish and fear over going to large public places. I never once had this fear as a child and now an entire generation will know fear. We were in Manhattan Saturday, July 23rd for Chris Tomlin’s Worship Night in America. But let me back up....
Months ago Grace came to love Chris Tomlin’s song Good Good Father when Fusion (youth group) played it. She bought the lead sheet for the piano and with her piano teacher, Rob, she mastered this challenging song. It sparked a love of Christian music. Now it is all we listen to. I am convinced that when you start to fill yourself up with the love of God and you make the decision to follow him wholeheartedly and trust in Him and Him alone, you begin to turn out the negative pooh that the world is filled with. I don’t want to listen to songs about drinking, partying, heartbreak and illicit love. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my old Coldplay, but most of their songs are positive and meaningful. Now, no matter what kind of day I am having, I can worship God and all is well. So when Grace came to us and asked if we could go to his “concert” we said yes. We try to do something big in New York once a year and we had not been in quite some time.
Little did I know that this was no ordinary concert. My friend told me that it was a worship night with special guests. She attended the one in 2015 and said I was in for quite an experience. When I got the email reminder with information for the show I was blown away. Matt Maher! Matt Redman! (Grace is learning his song, 10,000 Reasons now), Tasha Cobbs, Kim Walker Smith, Max Lucado, Phil Wickham, and Louie Giglio. If you haven’t heard Louie speak about the 20 inch journey we need to take, YouTube it. Please.
My excitement about this event was marred by the severe anxiety my child had about a large group of Christians gathering at a public place in New York City. She felt like a target and was fearful for our safety. I assured her that we would be safe. For every person trying to do harm there are dozens who are protecting us from that harm. I felt confident that God would keep us safe as well as the men and women in uniform. So we went, all of us. And we worshiped God.
Being in a venue this large that in an instant became the largest church service we have ever attended was awesome. Awe-some. Thousands and thousands of Christ followers of every denomination gathered together with differences set aside and our uniting purpose front and center, Jesus. We gathered to pray to Jesus. To ask him to come to us and heal our country. Prayer > Politics. Washington will not heal us. Wall Street will not heal us. Hollywood will not heal us. We have strayed so far from what God intended for his people. We were literally on our knees sandwiched in between rows and in the aisles praying. Madison Square Garden has 18,200 seats and most of those were sold (excluding the seats unavailable behind the stage). Since I could not find an accurate number, let’s say there were 15,000 people there. 15,000 voices singing. 15,000 voices praising. 15,000 voices praying The Lord’s Prayer at - the - same - time. Words cannot convey how powerful this moment was.
I bought a shirt. Prayer > Politics. When we as a nation put aside our differences and turn our eyes toward Heaven and begin to pray, then perhaps we will see the change we so desperately need. I know it will not be found in the man who proclaims to be “the only one” who can save this country nor will it be found in the woman who helped in 8 short years to bring it to it’s current state. But perhaps they will be remembered for bringing us to our knees.