A while back I was blessed to be at a Casting Crowns concert in Bozeman, MT. The opening band, TRACING DAYS, featured songs from local guys that truly blessed me despite the heavy rock focus of their music.
But I had an entirely different experience with Casting Crowns, and had to relate it. First of all, I thought I was just getting to see the concert with my husband Jim. But to my surprise our local radio station DJs came and got me to meet the band backstage. We slipped through a maze of hallways and rooms until we came upon a group of guys dressed in jeans and t-shirts with various toy guns, loaded with darts. They were ganging up on one of their other team mates and I just naturally presumed this was probably the band's road crew. But no - this was the band.
I still have to laugh at the site of these grown men crashing through the dressing room door to plaster another band member with foam darts. A few minutes later, these same folks gathered to greet those of us who had our special backstage passes. They were generous and loving, kind and so much a reflection of joy in the Lord that I could honestly have gone home at that point and still have been blessed.
When the concert started and they began to sing some of their popular hits, I was deeply moved to be a part of the moment. Throughout the day, I had been struggling with worry over my children - the one main place Satan tries to take me down. There's Erik - who really struggled to graduate high school and now is struggling to find a direction in life. Then there's Julie who's separated from her husband and trying to work on her marriage and keep her three children from feeling too many emotional traumas from the situation. Lastly, there's Jen who's living in a big city by herself, going to college and working. She has to be out on her on a lot, sometimes late at night taking public transportation, and I worry about her safety. Could anyone else possibly relate?
Then at one point the lead singer began to share with us that he struggled to get through school with dyslexia and ADD. He didn't get great grades. It made me think of Erik and it gave me hope. Then they sang a beautiful song I'd never heard that spoke of a young woman struggling with marriage problems - the song emphasized loving her like Jesus, and taking her to Him. Suddenly I didn't feel so fearful for Julie. And towards the end of the concert they talked about Jesus walking every step with us--that we're never alone, and I breathed a sigh of relief in regards to Jen.
God was in the details in a way I hadn't expected. The concert turned into an awesome time of praise and restoration and for that I praise God, and thank Casting Crowns. It never fails to amaze me how God can use something we love to do and turn it into a ministry for Him in ways that give hope to the overwhelmed and hurting. I hope you feel His touch today.
P.S. You can check out their new "Slow Fade" video here.