Jazz and Rap
Finally, time to go to my gym classes tonight. Music. Dance. Sweat. Vitality coursing through me. Him. I feel Him. The last song was “Stand By Me”. Feeling a stirring in me. This is my song. A stirring deep within me. He is in the song. The intimacy of God through music.
Flashback to October, 2011. An idea would not leave my mind: “Corrie, you must sing in a jazz club before November 11”. What? A jazz club? Is this the voice of God? I’m not a jazz singer! I don’t even know any jazz songs…do I? I just sing in church, sometimes. Singing. Wait…
Singing was important to me. Maybe more important than I realized. I think I knew that deep down. Knew that I had never even had the guts to admit to my husband or even myself how deeply I wanted to sing. In front of people, over people. Singing equals intimacy with God to me, allowing me to feel Him and express the deepest parts of myself to Him. I thought that one day it would come out. But I was so scared. Scared I wasn’t good enough. Scared I wouldn’t be “the best”.
The thought kept coming. “You must sing in a jazz club before November 11”. Lord, is this you? It’s a crazy thought! Exhilarating, fun. What the heck? What do I even have to lose? Maybe I’ll start to tell people… so I told my life coach. I started telling friends, random people I met: “One of my current goals is to sing in a jazz club by Nov. 11″…just a fact, as if it were really going to happen, which of course it wouldn’t.
People flipped. They thought it was a great idea, brilliant! They threw out suggestions, connections, real possibilities for how it might work. Then I discovered it – an open mic night. Oh, God! It COULD really happen! So I found myself walking toward what I sensed was His voice. It just felt like Him. It was the kind of terror that I sensed He wanted to conquer in me. But could God be that fun, that crazy? “Just trust me, Corrie.” So I went to the place, scoped it out, looked through their band’s songbook, chose two of the first songs I saw (two of the only ones I knew), then trembled as I pushed the “Send”, inviting all my friends and colleagues. It was set – for the Sunday night before Nov. 11. I would be singing at Open Mic night at the Melting Pot in Shanghai.
Ok, God, I will obey you. I will trust you. This is my journey with you. But why a jazz club? Why now?
Two days before Sunday, my Chinese co-worker asked me about the origin of one of the songs I would be singing – Stand By Me. Strange question. I looked it up, and Wikipedia popped up. Clicking the link, I sucked in my breath, as I read: Stand By Me was based on an old spiritual song – from Psalm 46. My Psalm. “God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear, though the mountains fall into the sea, though the oceans roar and foam…”
Of course. There you are, Lord. I didn’t know I could start crying so fast. He WAS in it. That’s all I needed. Sunday came. I was there. The Melting Pot. Almost midnight, my turn. Shaking off nerves as I tried walking more confidently than I felt up onto stage. The music started, and then…I started singing. What? Not scared? How could this be? I wasn’t nervous anymore. From the first note, it was complete comfort. Soaring. I LOVED it, it was me. It was what I was made to do. I wanted to sing all night. People cheered. Covered me in hugs and flowers. One of the best nights of my life.
Back to the present, biking home from my work out. Waves of pain again, as always. Sobbing and pedaling, sobbing and crying out. Yes, there it is. The thoughts of my husband. My best friend. How could this be happening? Lord, I’m hurting.
Then quiet. Running through my to-do list in my mind. Remembering my maid-of-honor’s wedding coming up soon. Oh gosh! I haven’t started preparing yet. Lord, you know I want to do something special for her. Ok, I’m thinking about that for a reason. Silence.
The bike behind me is broken.
That’s kind of annoying.
A rhythm. A rap. That’s it! 30 seconds later, I had the chorus and first verse. Flooding my thoughts. So clear. I laughed out loud all the rest of the way home, and up the elevator. A rap! God, that is genius! Six of her closest girl friends doing a rap together – THIS rap. The rap you put in my thoughts immediately when I heard the click clack of the Chinese man’s broken bike behind me.
God, you are so fun. So intimate in music. You know how I tick. You are so musical. You know. You are hilarious. I’ll let you lead. Your voice. I trust you.