Kids stumble and push through the doors to be the first, the closest and the coolest. To be those nearest to the stage so they can see and hear and feel the music that has drawn each of them here. Drawn from their plain and quiet lives, or from their lives too broken and pain-filled to be endured much longer. Each one of them is here for a reason all their own, but they each share the same reason: the music. To hear it, see it, taste it, to feel it with every fragment of their being. They are drawn here by the promise of a new experience.
The music becomes reality for that moment and nothing else matters. A group of strangers squeeze together for an hour or two, sealed by song. They breathe the same air and listen to the same songs, but at the end of the night each of them has experienced something deeply personal and unequivocally real. After, in an effort to share this personal experience, kids tell each other how much they love this song or that song, or what they thought the best part of the show was, but when it gets down to it, none of them will ever know what the other has felt and known in their soul. They share a universally unique experience. Simultaneously, this experience is completely their own, while belonging to every other human who has ever felt the way they do.
The universal uniqueness of music is an extension of the personal nature of Jesus Christ. As is it says in Colossians, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” My God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. There is nowhere that I am that He is not. Christ is in the air I breathe, the colors I see and the music I hear.
There are songs I am certain Christ inspiredthrough a musician’s human hands exclusively for me to hear. Is that arrogant? Is it arrogant to believe the Holy One of Israel wrote a simple sad indie song which causes me to feel my heart has escaped my broken body and is free to rise and soar with the exuberant joy a relationship with Jesus Christ brings me?
But that is what I experience when I hear that song, and dozens of others that throughout my life have quietly ensured me I am not the only one who feels the way I do. I am not the only one who feels this pain, or this joy, or this heartache. Whether it’s a swelling sweaty crowd belting out the lyrics, or my car stereo on a lonely December night, or my own voice humming an off-key tune, it is Christ reminding me that He is all and that He is everything. The reality of this experience causes me to fall deeper and more passionately in love with Jesus Christ.
I crave this experience just as deeply as those kids who pack themselves into a tiny venue to catch hold of the scrap of community their favorite song brings them. When the show is over and the music has stopped, they will buy t-shirts, stickers and buttons, mere tokens to share they were there and the felt this way once. Just once. In the years to come, the kids who shared this night will spot each other on the street or at another club and know that they shared their reality with each other for just one night. And before those split second judgments run through their mind about who is cooler than whom, they will understand something about each other.
My reality is shared with countless other Christians throughout the world and throughout time. Because of the depth of love in my soul for Jesus, I can better understand the hearts of others who claim Christ as their King. My world, whose foundation and mortar exists through the Spirit of God, is shared with immeasurable other souls who have laid their lives down at the cross, who have given away all they possess only to have it returned to them as a life so profoundly beautiful that it must be experienced to be understood.