Two minutes to show time.
The musician prepared himself. Cradling his guitar, he checked its tuning again. The instrument was ready, the stage, set; the songs, memorised. He closed his eyes in preparation.
One minute to show time.
His thoughts wandered; how he had made it this far, the struggles faced, the hours of practice. He’d finally made it – made it to where he always belonged, the stage.
This wasn’t his first time, he’d performed at numerous shows before. Yet every show had been different – every show was unique. It wasn’t only the songs he sang, the whole atmosphere of every concert was always different – and he loved it, every single time. He loved the stage – he loved that stage.
The curtains opened. He looked at the audience – his audience. Oh, how he loved them. They were great, they knew how to keep a concert going. Their presence was always an encouragement to him. They had always been there- right from his first show – and they never missed it.
He smiled and held his guitar tight. Closing his eyes, he began to perform. He sang – sang like he had never sung before. He sang with emotion – with both joy and sorrow, exaltation and lament. He sang his heart out – he played his heart out. And he absolutely loved it.
Towards the end of the concert, he looked at his audience again to ask the question that most musicians on stage do. Strumming a chord wildly, he screamed, “Are you having a good time?”
The crowd cheered. They were having a delightful time indeed.
And then, something broke, something deep. His knees gave way. He fell to the ground and began to weep. Tears streamed down his face and dripped onto the stage.
He knew he wasn’t a great musician. He knew he hadn’t written the songs nor had he prepared the stage. He hadn’t played the right chords nor had he sung in tune.
So many artists before him had sung those songs to the same audience before, in ways that were so much more delightful. Yet, the crowd still delighted in his concerts.
As he wept, they came onto the stage. All three of them – the entire audience.
They held his hands and lifted him up. Holding him tight, they gently reminded him why they loved his concerts, even though they had seen so many over and over again.
They reminded him that it was them who had written the songs for him to sing, it was them who had set the stage, it was them who had given him the guitar, and it was them who had made him.
They – The Father, Son and Holy Spirit- reminded him, that it was not the concerts that they delighted in, but something else.
They delighted in him. God delighted in him.
The musician got up off the floor. Wiping his tears, he finished his song. He put the guitar back into its case and went to prepare breakfast.
As always, his quiet time of prayer in his little room had been different – unique.