Monday, August 04, 2008

Audience of One

What does it mean to have an audience of one? It's become a cheesy line we throw around in Christian culture to minimize self-consciousness. Today it became something more for me. Today I spoke with a team leader who has worked at Lagniappe in the past. He told me of an encounter with a gentleman who claimed he could play the guitar. The leader noticed that the man's guitar was missing some strings, as well as the chord that connected the guitar to the amp. An avid musician and lover of music himself, this leader bought the man new strings, tuned his guitar, and hooked it up to the amp with a new chord. As he and his students gathered around to hear the man play, they were surprised. The sounds coming from the guitar sounded nothing like what they expected. It was loud; it was discordant, and the students began to grumble. "I thought he said he could play," they laughed..."this isn't music." The leader stopped them. Pulling them aside he said, "you are not his audience. He plays for an audience of one. These sounds which sound so awful to you are making His creator smile. Whether he knows it or not, this man plays before God. You are just privileged to stand in the arena and watch." Suddenly the attitude changed. The students began to cheer. The discordant sounds became almost beautiful as they listened to them with the ears of the Father. This is what Paul means when he says, "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose was is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor. 1:27-28). This is why high school students can build houses in a week. This is why 19 year old college interns can have an incredible impact on our staff and the Bay St. Louis community. This is why sinful men can be pastors. This is why I-who am quick to run into the slavery of my own idolatry-can lead a Bible study about the freedom God offers us as His children. The beautiful part about this is that our lives are chaos. They are a mess...we turn the amp up as loud as we can, we "tune" the guitar all morning, and all we can make are discordant sounds. But that is not what God hears. And not only that, it is not what the world hears. Paul says that God chose the foolish things to "shame the wise." He does not say it just pleases God, but he actually says it affects others. Suddenly we can be friends with people, even though we know we will let them down. God might just use our failures to point our friends to His total sufficiency. We can be bold in our work, even when it is overwhelming-He promises to use the weak to shame the strong. We can be content when we are despised by the world; God promises to use the "low and despised to bring to nothing the things that are." God takes our chaos and makes it beautiful-not just for Himself but for the world. I hung up in tears, excited now "to boast all the more gladly in my weakness...for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 11:9b, 10b).


Lindsey said...

Sarah that story is so beautiful, and reminds me of a very similar story that I heard from a team leader (prob. same homeowner) two weeks ago.

Laura C. said...

I agree with Lindsey. This is a wonderful reminder of what Lagniappe and being a christian is all about. It is ok that I have no idea where i am going next. It is ok that i can't get my life together. It is wonderful that I am weak and God has revealed my weakness to me so that God can receive all the glory! Thank you for sharing this sarah!