Sunday, August 23, 2009

Concert at First Baptist Church

The Sunday night concert at First Baptist Church featured performing artists Al Denson and Kari Jobe. I went to this concert not knowing what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. Periodically the crowd would rise to their feet and raise their hands swaying to the music. I remained seated and continued to sketch. The concert was used as a fundraiser to try and build a church in Haiti. Apparently you can build a church for just $20,000. The importance of trying to break the stronghold of voodoo practiced in the region was stressed. A card was handed out at the entry doors which asked everyone to sponsor a child in Haiti to help with their education. As the music was performed the lyrics were signed to the audience on the right by a young woman standing down in front.
The music was resonant and joyful. I found myself singing along to "Amazing Grace".
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.... I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see..." If I were to hear the songs out of context on the radio they could be taken as simple love songs. Kari between songs said "We are all so busy doing instead of just being." Once I figured out the words to each of the songs I sang along just as I often sing at the top of my lungs while listening to my car radio. "I give all I have and more." I know that you are for me, I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness." I feel the warmth of your embrace, your all I want, your all I ever needed." I sang, holding some notes for so long that my breath was fully exhausted, then I inhaled deeply reaching for the next note. There is something completely satisfying to surrendering then reaching once again in song.
After 3 hours of this music, my butt started to tell me it was time to go. My sketch was complete so my job or purpose for the night was done. I looked for an exit from the balcony where I was seated but the stairs went down and then back up leaving me back where I started. I found the only way out would be to walk down the long flight of bleachers in view of everyone in the worship center. I quietly left during a prayer hoping most people would have their eyes closed. I still felt like everyone might be watching as I made my way to the door.

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Bri said...

I was at that concert. And i left 2 hours in so dont feel bad. I enjoyed your sketch

Paul said...

Small world. Al Denson used to be one of the music ministers at my old church in Florida.