Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Poignant Moment

I wanted to journal about a moment that seemed to stand still last night. A moment that was so touching between Mandisa and our Bell Shoals Girlfriends.

We took a road trip - 210 women, to be exact - to Lakeland for "Girls Night Out". A concert event with Anita Renfroe and Mandisa. Our team had scoped out the best place to sit 200+ women together and chose the overhanging balcony. Well into the evening, after Anita Renfroe had made mention of her personal connection to our former music pastor as sort of an "insiders" comment, Mandisa began to share. In preparing to sing her incredible song called Broken Halleluah, she took time to recount the first time she ever sang that song in concert...

Mandisa had been scheduled to be the first "event" in our new worship center at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. Our worship pastor at that time, Simeon Nix had booked her. She went on to explain that just days before she was to perform, she got word from our church that our Senior Pastor, Forrest Pollock, and his 13 year old son had been tragically killed in a plane accident. But Simeon told her the church still wanted her to come.

Mandisa shared that she and her band took time to fast for three days to seek the Lord's direction in this most delicate situation. This would not be an ordinary concert. Having been at that concert personally, it was clear that Mandisa had not only been called to our church to perform a concert. She had been called by God to come and minister to a deeply hurting body of believers.

She went on to share the shock of receiving another call from our church less than three months later that Simeon Nix had too passed away. Just as we had, she asked God what He was doing. It was so hard to understand. And in times like that, our praise is often little more than a broken halleluah.

As she brought that beautiful song to a close, there were few dry eyes among those in our group. She transitioned into Blessed Be The Name. At that moment, it seemed clear to me why the balcony had been the place divinely chosen for us to sit. The people on the ground floor continued to sit through the song having no idea what a special moment God was orchestrating above them. Just seconds into that song our Bell Shoals ladies began rising to their feet, lifting hands to praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us. Tears flowing, time seemed to stand still for a moment as I took in the scene. Even the people to the right and to the left of our group in the balcony remained seated. For the most part, we were the only ones standing, our hearts connected with Mandisa, her band, and the Lord. The word that kept coming to mind was "poignant". As the song ended, we took our seats, and the ladies on the ground floor were none the wiser. The moment had almost been private in a sanctuary full of people. The moment was touching and I want to long remember.

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