“Today at church a friend pulled me aside. He was telling me about his nine-year old son. He likes to be the tough guy, never show weakness, nothing can ruffle him, doesn't like music or anything classy. Well his family got tickets for Lamb of God. The son was fussing and fighting the entire drive, saying he didn't want to go, and he wouldn't like it. They sat in the fourth row Saturday night, and he just didn't want to be there. But as the show went on, something changed in this nine-year old boy; he felt the Spirit. His dad said as it ended his son said he enjoyed the performance, and asked if they could come back to hear it again next year.
“As they drove home they needed to stop for gas. The dad glanced into the backseat and saw tears running down his son's cheek, the tough boy who didn't want to show weakness was moved to tears because of what he felt. A week or so later the dad was talking to his sons about feeling the Spirit, and his young son told him he felt it really for the first time at Lamb of God. My friend thanked me for inviting them and encouraging them to attend. Miracles did happen, and one was in the heart of a young boy.”
That was among the most poignant of the many heartfelt email messages I received from those who performed in or attended Lamb of God performances last year. It was a vivid reminder of how the Holy Spirit works in unseen, unspoken and wonderfully unpredictable ways that are beyond our understanding.
I was prepared for reactions from adults, the mature participants who were literally the voices of experience. They had lived long enough to be able to compare and contrast, form opinions and render assessments. But there was none of that from this nine-year old. His reaction was simple awe. He was carried away by a force he first discovered in a darkened Chenery Auditorium.
I think every performer should feel blessed at how the Spirit used all of us to minister to this young one—and countless others, young and old, we will never hear about. As I reflected on this and felt the Savior's love, I was reminded of the pure joy I experienced as we witnessed a miracle together.
That miracle began taking shape just a year ago when we started to plan this production. From the beginning, God made it clear that the challenges would be great. But the knowledge that He was greater kept us all moving forward, no matter what obstacles barred the way. The Holy Spirit kept whispering in my ear: “Do all that you can do and trust that the Lord will make up the difference.”
I always believed that our efforts, magnified through the Spirit, would touch many lives. But I also believed if we touched and changed only one heart, it would be worth it.
What happened, of course, was compelling proof that through God anything can be accomplished. The two performances drew some 2,600 audience members, and performers from more than 50 churches put denominational differences aside and came together in shared faith in Christ. They were a colorful patchwork of backgrounds, experience, ages and occupations—from eager young high schoolers to seasoned professionals in dozens of fields.
I intended this inaugural blog of the 2014-15 season to be a snapshot from last year. But instead God gave me (us), through this young boy’s reaction, an exquisite image to carry in my heart. What a blessing this entire experience has been in my life. I get excited when I imagine how God will continue to surprise us with the miracle that is Lamb of God-Kalamazoo.