By: Susan Bea Good
Winter Jam came to my city last month. I took my daughter and her friend to see this production, with eleven Contemporary Christian Groups performing. There is always competition to get “good” seats at one of these non-reserved, $10 cash-at the door, teen-themed concerts. But we have a strategy…arrive well before the concert starts, shiver patiently in the frigid Michigan winter, and when the doors open…head for the second-row-balcony seats. Most of the other early birds run for the floor seats, which we don’t prefer anyway, because those crowds will stand the entire 5 hours!
This year we arrived early, to a line wrapped three times around the city block! The venue holds 14,000…but I questioned if that was even enough for this sized crowd. It wasn’t! We took our place honestly, at the end of the third line and waited.
When the doors opened, Security started pushing everyone into the main entrance, combining all three lines into one. We were forced to enter with the people who had waited five hours to be first! Thousands, who were there before us, were turned away from the concert. Some of those had traveled many hours to bring entire Youth Groups to the show. A few of the acts, including Royal Tailor, graciously went outside to do a few numbers for that crowd.
We sighed with relief as we slipped into our good seats. Hot chocolate and coffee would have been nice right then, but in a hurried effort to travel light, I forgot my wallet at home…which meant no credit card or driver’s license…oops! Thirst would be no problem…we knew we had been blessed just to have seats. We quickly settled in to enjoy the next five hours of great live Christian music!
What could possibly ruin this night? Just thirty minutes into the first act, a family of four, seated in front of us, took their two young children to the lobby and came back with flashy-light-hats! OK, I get migraines when my eyes are flashed with light…a lot of people can’t tolerate such an intrusion so close to their faces. I asked the mother politely if the hats could be turned to the hold function…and not flash. She complied, I thanked her… and the evening was back on track. Uh, No…within ten minutes Mom took the kids out again, coming back with flashy-lighted whirligigs…which were then added to the light-up hats, and positioned purposfully in front of my face the rest of the five hours! Dad and Mom occasionally asked the children to turn off, or keep low…but the kids chose to keep the lights high and a-flashing, and also take regular looks over their nasty little shoulders to see how they were bothering us. Before the concert ended, I took the opportunity to personally tell these two that they were brats!
Toby Mac was great…with Mandisa as back-up. Mathew West sang “Strong Enough.” Jason Castro performed many times throughout the night, and artists like Royal Tailor were a delight for me to hear for the first time. The event also encouraged sponsorship of needy international children through many mission organizations.
The little monsters in the next row couldn’t ruin the worshipful atmosphere of the night. When my daughter expressed frustration with their persistent rudeness, I shared one of my other strategies…think about how blessed you are not to have to go home with them! We smiled as we left that night with sore throats and arms (from singing and waving), and hearts full from the fellowship of “suffering” and savoring those sweet hours together.
“For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.”(Matthew 18:20/ESV)
The purpose of this blog is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it!