I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Our family spent the last three days at LifeLight music festival, a 72-hour jam session for Jesus. His Light was present all over the festival grounds, where more than 100,000 people gathered each day to hear the Good News through word and song. His Light and Spirit were thick in the place. Here’s where I saw it — in places big and little:
- In the prayer tent. Lydia, my 6-year-old daughter, led me to the prayer tent last night and offered up the most precious prayer for Isaiah, a 4-year-old who is in the hospital recovering from e-coli. Lydia has a cold, and in a raspy whisper she bowed her head and prayed: “Dear God, I’m sorry about my voice. It’s hard to get my words out. Please be with Isaiah, so he will feel better. Please heal him. Make sure he gets those animals I sent him. Help him get out of the hospital soon. Amen.”
- In our little camper circle. My friend Janelle calls it “framily” — when friends are so close they feel like family. That’s what it felt like as we camped at LifeLight for the last three nights. We circled our wagons, and over greasy hot dogs and Cheetos, had lots of good God talk with the “framily.”
- In my lawn chair. Most of my praise was lifted to God from the seated position. Our children often fell asleep in our arms by the time our favorite artists — Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant — hit the stage. While I couldn’t stand to offer praise, my heart was doing backflips with gratitude for God’s grace, which often comes in the form of the cuddly person resting on my lap.
- On my way to the Port-a-Potties. No, I’m serious. Walking to the bathroom was a pilgrimage in and of itself. Not only because of the distance from chair to toilet seat, but because of the fact that to get there, you had to zig zag through thousands of people in worship. During the concerts, you can’t see others’ face, but mostly the backs of their heads, and hands raised all over the place. On the way to the bathroom, though, you can see faces. Faces in worship. You really could see God’s countenance resting on people. (Wish I could tell you that actually BEING in the Port-a-Potty was a worship-filled experience. I’ve had some cool moments with God in the bathroom, but, in a portable toilet, um, not so much …. )
- On the drive home. I got out of my van to fill up with gas, and outside, a car stereo screamed, “Welcome to the Jungle! It gets worse here every day. Ya learn to live like an animal. In the jungle where we play.” After a weekend worshipping God, the world can come back at you pretty fast. And the world can seem like a jungle outside of the Jesus Bubble. But we are called to live in the jungle, not to stay in the Bubble. I got back in the van, turned the key, headed east toward home, and through a song on my radio, God offered this reminder: Even in the jungle, He is a shelter over us.
You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty … Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I’m weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek
I turned up my radio and let the praises ring.