I try not to let it bother me, but when somebody gets up and leaves during one of my concerts, it bothers me.
Last week at The Salvation Army Resource Center in Medicine Hat, Alberta, I was singing a Tribute To Johnny Cash before transitioning to gospel by singing Steve & Annie Chapman’s song, I Want To Go With My Daddy. Halfway through the song a man abruptly stood up and walked out. I guess he doesn’t care for Gospel songs?
After the concert his buddy told me the rest of the story: When he heard Steve Chapman’s lyrics about a son following his dad down the wrong path, he said, “I’m going to go spend time with my son!”
What a great reason to leave a concert! Even if it’s me singing! Great lyrics, Steve Chapman!
Steve Chapman once told me that some of his songs are recorded with the purpose of never being sung in a concert setting. They are recorded to reach that man who drives his pickup by himself with a CD player and hears God speak to him through a song when no one else is around. I don’t think I Want To Go With My Daddy is one of those, but it sure did speak to a man publicly in Medicine Hat last month. And he acted. Right now!
Songs seem to speak where preaching or reading doesn’t. Gospel Echoes representative, John Yoder, who toured with me in Alberta, told about a man who approached him at a banquet last year: “I was incarcertated at _____ Correctional several years ago when your team came to our prison. I was not allowed to attend the chapel, so you came back to my unit and sang for the 20 minutes you were allowed. I want to tell how much that meant to me. Many groups come and talk to us, but you sang. It touched my heart.”
Now folks, let me clarify, speaking and preaching are very important, and I consider my singing as “plowing the ground for the seed that will be planted by the preaching of the Word.” But sometimes singing is what reaches the heart of a man. It did in these two examples. Stories like these keep me singing.
I wish there was room to put the words to Steve’s song here, but they can be heard by googling, I Want To Go With My Daddy by Steve Chapman.
A closing thought:
I. Music is a science.
II. Music is Mathemtical
III. Music is a Foreign Language
IV. Music is History
V. Music is Physical Education
VI. Music Develops Insight and Demands Research
VII. Music is all these things, but most of all, Music is Art.
That is why we teach music:
Not because we expect you to major in music…
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life…
But so you will be human…
So you will recognize beauty…
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world…
So you will have something to cling to…
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good-In short, more LIFE.