An Obstructed View
Tonight I had the privilege of seeing some good friends sing their songs at the Ryman. Andrew Peterson and company put on their annual “Behold the Lamb” Show, which includes members of our very own little church. While I listen to their music on my iPod or in my car, I almost never see these folks play live. All I have to say is that we know some pretty amazing artists.
In his album “Behold the Lamb,” Andrew is essentially doing the Jesus Story Year in music. He is placing the Christmas story squarely in the context of God’s ongoing mission to his people. If you have not listened to this CD, now over 10 years old, may I suggest it to you.
I have intended to go to this concert for months. However, I only bought my tickets a week ago. Ticketmaster gave me their “best available seats,” warning me that I would have an obstructed view. Given that it was these seats or nothing, I took them.
Obstructed view is a mild way of saying what we had. Laura and I were on the floor, towards the back of the room, as far to stage right as you could get. From where I sat, I could see only the front portion of the stage, and even half of that was blocked by a huge stack of speakers. I got to see Andrew Peterson and Andy Osenga, which was nice, but I basically didn’t see anyone else. I could hear Andy and Jill, Ben and Randy, but see them? Not a chance.
The guy behind me was angrily telling his girlfriend how “they might as well have stayed home” and the “first thing I’m going to do tomorrow morning is call the ticket office.” Me, on the other hand, well I just sat there and beamed and cried and sang along. I was sitting with my beloved wife, hearing great music, “seeing” good friends move in the gifts God has given them, and having a great time. Most importantly, I was hearing the grand story of the Gospel. No, I couldn’t see everything. But I could hear, and what I heard I loved.
Sometimes I have an obstructed view of Christ. I can’t see him or what he’s doing. Or I think I know what he’s up to, and then something knocks me for a loop. I think I have things figured out, but then I am rudely awakened to the reality that I only see a small part of the stage, a fraction of the total picture. I don’t have all the information, and neither does anyone else.
I can’t always see God moving. I don’t always experience him. But I can always listen to his voice. I can hear him in his Word. Things may not look so great from where I’m sitting, but there is always Truth available to me. If I can put aside my indignation and anger for a minute, maybe I will even read something I need to hear.
Having an obstructed view of Christ doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Andy Gullahorn was on that stage, though I saw him not. So God is in the midst of my little life, whether I happen to be staring at him in the face or straining my neck to catch a glimpse of his shoe. In any case, I always have the opportunity to listen to his voice.
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