The music was fast and loud, the lyrics gripping. Hundreds of clapping and hooting students strained the old theatre’s ability to contain such an electrified atmosphere. Brief breaks in the original compositions performed not only provided the audience with time to catch a quick breath, but also spark their interest in the unique band’s stories. Each member of this talented stage band had been transformed by the saving power of Jesus. The New Men loved sharing their past, present and God’s challenges for the future. Such candid and transparent testimony was not usually a public offering. The humility of the men arrested many students not yet aware of their need for a Savior.
As the musical presentations drew to a close, the leader of the band stepped forward to speak of God’s love for the unsaved and His desire to draw them to Himself. Truly, his was a life the Lord had pulled from the brink of destruction; he knew what he was talking about.
Next, the strong voice projected through those loud speakers challenged those who had already accepted Jesus as their Savior to take the next step and, totally, surrender their lives to Jesus. To accept Jesus as Lord of their lives. He lifted off his guitar, set it in its stand and grabbed the well-used Bible on the floor next to the equipment. The audience listened as Scriptures were presented to show God’s plan for Salvation as well as for His Lordship.
The band began to play fairly subdued instrumental tunes in the background as young people came forward to receive Christ. Others moved to isolated areas of the theater to pray alone or to just think about what they had heard. Still, others filed out of the theater in a solemn procession. Not your usual exit from a rock concert!
Curt said he wanted to be alone for a few minutes so I looked around the auditorium to where I might move. Suddenly, I caught sight of a friend from one of my classes. She was sitting alone, head bowed. I hadn’t planned to go pray with anyone; but, seeing someone I knew in the audience, well, I just was too excited to sit still. I made my way over to Annette. I knew Annette was a Catholic because I’d seen her at one of the Guitar Masses held for students at Christ the King Parrish.
“Hi, Annette!” I whispered, in case she was praying and not just thinking with her head down. “Are you praying? I can leave you alone, if you would prefer.” Lifting her head, she looked right in my eyes.
“Oh Sojourner. I wondered if you might be here. No, I wasn’t really praying and it’s fine if you stay. In fact, I would like to ask you something?” I nodded and smiled to encourage her to continue. “I know you’re a Catholic like me but, well, you’re here in this place, too. I just came for the music but, well, his words kind of got to me, you know? What do you think of all this? I mean, is it for Catholics, too? Seeing the tears brimming in her eyes, I remembered exactly how it had felt when I asked the same question, alone in my living room the previous year.
“Oh, Annette! It most certainly is for us, too! It’s for anyone in the world who wants to know God and have Him, actively, involved in their own life. God cares about us; He really does!” I poured out the details of my own story, seeing the eagerness of Annette to have a similar story for her own life.
The lights began to flick on and off, signaling us it was time to wrap it up and leave the room. Nevertheless, Annette wouldn’t move until we had prayed together for her salvation from sin and death, as well as asked Jesus to baptize her with His Holy Spirit. As I had, Annette began speaking in Tongues very soon after the Amen. I promised to bring Pam with me to share all about that and the other spiritual gifts the following day. Like me, she had so much to learn!
I was bursting with excitement when I stood to make my way back to Curt. Before I reached him though, Doug intercepted me. Glowing with that huge smile, Doug related to me his own magnificent joy. Doug had just prayed with Curt to receive the Holy Spirit! What a fabulously marvelous concert evening! Great music, wonderful real-life, true stories and a mighty move of God on people I knew and loved, as well as a lot of students I’d yet to meet. It just doesn’t get any better than that!