On Friday, blue sky nine kicked off a two-week tour by playing in Dayton, OH at the Target:Dayton Center.
Sounds like an arena; it’s not.
It’s an inner-city ministry that feeds homeless and needy people several times a week. blue sky nine played for their evening ‘service’, which involved a free meal for them. (We’ll play for food, even when it’s not for us.) It didn’t take much to get them going; I don’t think they get live music like this a lot.
Looking at the crowd, I wondered about their stories. I wondered how many people were carrying. I wondered how many people were lucid. I wondered how many weapons of whatever sort were in the room. Before we went on, I went and found myself a corner in the basement of the building and spent a long few moments with God wondering what the heck I could do that would make any sort of difference. I mean, really. Tell a few stories? Play guitar solos? I wasn’t going to be there long; not long enough to get to know anyone, anyway.
In the little bit of time I had, I wanted to offer them something meaningful, but I felt like a single piece of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out where it fits in on its own, without being able to see the picture on the box or any of the other pieces.
So, after thinking, praying (and, to be honest, crying) about that for a bit, I decided not to offer them anything. I decided, instead, that I would offer myself as fully as I could to God. I’ll listen to Him as best I can – and then I’ll just go be me, and let Him be Him.
I’ll play some guitar and tell some stories. God can figure out what He wants to do with it.
So I told stories and people smiled. I joked about wrecking a ’73 AMC Gremlin and they laughed. I played guitar and they clapped. We played upbeat songs and they danced.
One of these days, enough pieces of the puzzle will come together that I can start to make out the bigger picture. But for today, I made myself available to God, and He made needy, inner-city homeless people smile, laugh, clap, and dance.
1 down; 999 to go.