The euphoric Haitian sunset queued me that it was time for Sunday Service. Around this time, It would be rare for you to not see me pacing back and forth by myself, praying under my breath with a harmonious battle between confidence & anxiety – anxious about leading worship for 300+ people and 22 nations, but confident it’s the Lord that’s going to lead and not myself. One of the many but tedious factors that I know all worship leaders can relate with is… *drum roll please* - sound equipment. Being in Haiti, let’s just say I have to work with what I got. From the campuses pulsating electrical power supply, dusty soundboards, to rusty strings on guitars - it’s like walking on thin ice with a rising sun on the horizon. Plus, Not having my own guitar has thrown me into a stupid panic many times, running around trying to see if anyone has an electric acoustic. By the grace of God, volunteers have lent me one week after week. The 6-stringed Excalibur of choice has changed every other week, so my view of thankfulness in instruments has increased exponentially.
God has been reminding me of the bittersweet-universal-worship-leaders creed that “worship doesn’t need instruments to continue or exist”. But, if all of us were to be honest, it does matter a little (… ok a lot), and like any other Sunday I prayed
“ Oh God… pleeeeease protect the sound equipment and let everything technical go smoothly...”… (I probably added more emotion than what you’re reading, but you get my point.)
So, as I began to lead the congregation into worship, everything went smoothly…… for about 10 minutes. Of course, the sound board got pushed too hard, and then began to peak the speakers, after our noob sound man tried to “fix” the sound, his expertise led the speakers to clip and automatically shut off. This of course was all done in the middle of a song. After the power supply decided to give back some juice, the system restarted on its own. I thought everything would be ok, until the worst possible thing happened – my “A” string broke as if I cut warm butter with a hot knife. The string didn’t even snap, it just sort of melted and untwined beneath my fingers. I attempted to redeem the sound by just continuing to play nonchalantly, but of course, all the rest of my strings were completely out of tune. So I did only what I knew had to be done - drop the guitar and sing as if nothing happened. With the hollow void of just drums and a timidly played piano (I just taught I him the song before service, Sorry Jose’), we led the congregation to sing with the beauty of clapping hands to accompany our voices filling the arena.
I’m not going to lie, being on stage with 300 faces pointed at you, and having everything go wrong is quite discouraging. I wanted to stop playing, and the thought of cutting the worship shorter snuck into my mind. But my heart knew that letting worship depend so much on my instrument would be pathetic and unlike me. There was only one more song left, and it was “Healer” by Planetshakers – a song I really felt was needed to declare over this campus. Whether you know or not, many have been getting sick or physically injured this past week, but I knew that worship would make it flee. So in complete Acapella, we sang through the whole song as voices resonated in the arena - and it was glorious. God showed up, and praise continued. So with a prayer of healing I concluded praise and we proceeded with the service.
Through all of this, I knew the Lord was testing my heart. Did he cause the technical problems? Absolutely not, but did He make all things good for those who Love Him? Absolutely – because just today, a brother from the YWAM Denver team walked up to me and said that all through out the worship he had vertigo, was sick to the stomach and was about to hurl over the bleachers…. until I prayed the ending prayer of healing and instantly, like a switch, he felt completely fine – so much that the moment of healing haunted his mind all day ( in a good way). It’s funny because I’ve always asked the Lord for an anointing to physically & spiritually heal the sick through worship – and God gave me a small glimpse last night.
Moral of this overly detailed blog? – When we worship with our hearts and not with our hands and feet, God enthrones Himself and what is not of God must flee. It isn’t my prayer that healed, but it’s the power of a gathering of unified hearts in Jesus name that agreed to Heaven’s healing – I merely ushered the prayer in words.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow