Some glad morning...

Friday night, Kari and I met some friends for dinner in Fort Worth's "Sundance Square." We have a running date with these friends - two other married couples - who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Each month, a different couple organizes the evening, and we have a night of fun and fellowship. Some of our prior outings have taken us to the home of one of the couples for desert, or to a concert, or a nice restaurant. They even persuaded me to go two-stepping. Once.

We ate a rather good Mexican food meal at Mi Cocina, and then decided to go to see Pete's Dueling Pianos. If they had taken the "bar" out of Pete's Piano Bar, this place would have been completely up my alley. I've never seen pianists as talented as the four men who played at Pete's on Friday.

The show would have received an "R" rating for some pretty rank humor and some foul language - something we weren't expecting when we walked in, and that the show wouldn't have missed had it been without. So I was surprised when one of the piano players walked out with his shirt gaping open, revealing a James Avery-style cross necklace hanging around his neck. I said a quick prayer that either no one else saw it, or that he wouldn't be party to the same jokes and language used by the prior two musicians.

The musicians spent the evening playing almost every (secular) sing along song you could think of. The crowd belted out "Piano Man," and "Crocodile Rock." We sang everything from "We are the Champions," to "God Bless the USA." But two songs into his set, the guy with the cross necklace completely floored me by beginning to belt out "I'll Fly Away." The experience was surreal. Here we were, sitting in a dingy bar with a bunch of inebriated college-aged students, singing a song our church sang in worship last Sunday. The song was followed up by Kenny Rogers' "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille," with an added part for the audience... Don't ask. (Suffice it to say, it ain't "I'll Fly Away")

I don't know if my jaw visibly hit the floor or not, but it was one of the most unusual experiences of my life. Here we were, surrounded by drunk college students, who were singing about a "home on God's celestial shore" with more exuberance than I've ever heard a church sing it.

At first, the experience put a damper on the evening. It kept nagging at me... These kids knew the words. Apparently, they stood next to their moms and dads in church growing up, and learned it like the rest of us. They'd been in Sunday School, or Youth Group, or Church Camp, and had sung this song as a part of a body who was singing it for the right reasons. Now, here they were, struggling to stand up, singing the same song again. What happened?

Today, I'm struck with the irony. I can say with relative certainty that absolutely none of the college students at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar showed up on Friday hoping to worship. In fact, one might probably guess that was the last thing on their mind. But there we were, and worship we did. They didn't know what happened. And virtually none of them was consciously singing testimonies about a hope we have in an unchanging God who has promised eternal life to those who place their trust in Him. But on Friday night, the same God who brought Himself glory through the testimony of an ass, (Numbers 22), and Who has the capability of causing inanimate objects to praise him (Luke 19:39-40), brought Himself glory through the testimony of a few hundred drunk college students.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Chris. I'll definitely be back! Thanks for stopping by my blog!