Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Michael card monday

We had a really nice time last night. Michael Card gave a concert at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. Good, good stuff. Jane took this picture on her phone from our front row seat! This was before the cello player came out. When Michael played the piano he was literally sitting right in front of us.

The evening was good from beginning to end. We arrived a bit early as we didn't have tickets yet, and there was a chance it would sell out. So I got us McDonald's crudburgers and picked Jane up at work. We were sitting in the church parking lot gulping them down when we saw Michael emerge from his bus and stroll around. When we finally went inside he was standing in the hallway. He stuck out his hand to greet us, and we chatted briefly. I relayed to him how his was actually the very first Christian concert we had ever attended. I didn't give all the details, but it was in Dallas, with he and Phil Keaggy (we were there visiting our friends K & T). At the time I had no idea there were people doing music like this in "Christian" circles, and it literally changed my world. We saw him several other times after that, but I have no idea how long it's been since the last time. It was kind of like 'going home' again listening to him last night.

When we entered the sanctuary (which we had never been to) we debated on where to sit. We tried a few spots, but noticed no one was sitting in the very front row on the one side. I thought maybe it was reserved, or they didn't want people sitting there because his piano was 'right there,' but we eventually decided "what the heck" and moseyed our way up. Someone else finally came and joined us, and it was a great seat. Probably not ten feet from him.

If you have never seen Michael Card... not only are you treated to some incredible music, but the stories between songs are just as good. He is actually perhaps more of a Bible scholar than musician, and it was nice listening to someone with a more seasoned and mature stage presence than some of the "cheerleaders-for-God" that seem to dominate nowadays. On this night he was taking us through the Bible from beginning to end. He started with songs/stories from Genesis, and wound us around 2 hours later into Revelation (with no break). He used 4 guitars, banjo, and piano; and Matt played cello and occasionally guitar. And I had forgotten that Michael is left-handed, so he gets a rather unique sound on guitar because he doesn't string it left, but just turns it upside down (like Hendrix).

Oddly enough, earlier in the afternoon I was playing/singing, and I suddenly felt God chipping away at my heart of stone. I hadn't even realized how cold and hard it had become, but all of a sudden I felt a piece fall away, and I knew God was trying to break in. As the show started I prayed that it might continue. When Michael played what he said was his 'favorite song,' I believe it was just what I needed. I don't recall ever hearing "Come Lift Up Your Sorrows" before, but what a song. It's based on Psalm 51, and it broke me well. I will include the lyrics at the end.

I liked how Michael started the show too - he just came out and chatted with some people, and then took the stage. No pretense or rock-star introduction. And the ending was just as nice. There was no encore. In fact, no clapping at all. He said he was going to play a final song, and then give a benediction, and he asked us to leave in peace. His benediction was something like, "Go... forgive one another... and love one another well." He said that over and over several times. "Go... forgive one another... and love one another well..." Then we left. I think I will use that Sunday.

All in all, this night couldn't have been any better. It brought back so many memories, and seemed to renew my faith and love for God, and remind me that there still is Christian music (and Christian musicians) out there worth listening to. I would also like to get some of his books.

Here are the lyrics to "Come Lift Up Your Sorrows":
If you are wounded
And if you're alone
If you are angry
If you're heart is cold as stone

If you have fallen
And if you are weak
Then come find the worth of God
That only the suffering seek.

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He's waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He's wounded too.

He has not stuttered
and He has not lied.
When he says come unto me
you're not disqualified

When you're heavy laden
You may want to depart
But those who know sorrow
They're closest to his heart

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He's waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He's wounded too.

In this most holy place
He's made a sacred space
For those who will enter in
and trust to cry out to him
And you'll find no curtain there
No reason left for fear
There's perfect freedom here
To weep every unwept tear.

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He's waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He's wounded too.

Michael Card, from "The Hidden Face of God" album

3 comments:

JAH said...

Perfect...

J. Andrew Camp said...

No way!! Joel and I just opened up for Michael Card here in Anderson on tuesday night.

We had the opportunity to talk to him and Matt for a long time before and after and boy was he a cool guy. Turns out he knows a good friend of ours in Nashville.

Come Lift Up Your Sorrows was the one he co-wrote with the Earth, Wind, and Fire keyboardist correct? I really enjoyed that one.

dan horwedel said...

Andrew,
Wow! How cool is that?! I knew he was playing in Anderson after FW but never had any idea you guys would be involved. Remind me to kiss your hand when you're here for the wedding. :)

In my book Michael is one of the best people in the biz, and I am honored to know a couple guys who opened a show for him. Congrats!