Worshipping at The Tabernacle in The Valley of Suck

The road is not a short one. It is as long and winding as any in physical path you or I might tread. Each decision we take is a step along the course of our lives. Sometimes those are decisions which are the results of our own design and still others reflect our response to the events which occur in our lives.

But more than anything, our steps are a gift of grace.

The valley of suck is anything but predictable. You can imagine and guess what is around the corner, and then you take a look, and you are surprised: by grace, by gifts, by grief, by good mornings, and by "oh my goodness (or something similar)."

Sometimes you even find yourself in the church or in my case, The Tabernacle.

Last night I took my daughter to see her favorite band, Motionless In White, on their current tour. Now, I'm an honest guy. This was an explicit lyric event, so I am not endorsing their music for your listening pleasure nor for your kids.  But the road of grace and the valley of suck is a winding and twisting path and it brings you to crossroads and bumps where you make choices.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect I was the only pastor at the front of the mosh pit last night with their "baby girl" while guitars wailed, drums thumped and singers screamed. I surrounded her and shielded her from the press of people as she sang along and jumped about and fulfilled a dream so many kids hope to do: rock out with their favorite band.

And when she was tired and her night was done, she laid her head on my shoulder and she said she was glad her dad was there.

There was grace in The Tabernacle last night.  The "worship" leaders at The Tabernacle weren't the ones of Sunday morning, but they are the ones who come to kids in the dark of night in their valley of suck.  I had listened to her music in the weeks leading up to the night.  She "fan-girled," telling me all about the band and what their songs meant.

And then I was invited into the experience.  And I got a glimpse into it last night.  Motionless in White and the bands were class acts.  They were gentlemen and gracious to my girl. I saw through her eyes and the eyes of the hundreds of others heroes of a different sort - ones who could name the pain and suffering and inspire young people to keep fighting.  They didn't know her story and all the other stories - they had their story and so they offered it and it was a word of hope.

Jesus met me in it all last night, at The Tabernacle.  I thought at one point, "Man! If Jesus was here today, this is where he'd be!" And then, like a whisper, Jesus said, "Hey doofus, what do you mean "if?" You're here aren't you so I AM here!"

Yeah. I get it. The valley of suck isn't the same for everyone and the soundtrack isn't the same but the grace is. Even though I'm not pastoring a church, my kids still look to me to act like Jesus - "Jesus, help me do it as well as I seemed to do it last night!"

There was worship in The Tabernacle last night.  I was there and my heart was strangely warmed in the strangest of places.  Grace is still amazing.

P.S.  Thank you to all the fans, the bands, and the event staff at The Tabernacle for being some of the best folks to worship with!


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