Oh, I'll Be Alright Chile...
Watching the video in the last post I was reminded of all the good Gospel music enjoyed in the 80's with the signature of Andrae Crouch on it. It was a time when we lived close to Detroit and frequently went over for concerts or revival meetings. Names such as Swaggart, Copeland, Cerullo, Price, Bonnke, Jenkins, Grant, Schambach.
Crowds were always of mixed colour and mixed expression. It was a learning time of comparative worship. We timid little Canadians were received warmly. Our teenage recollections of the race riots in the 60's evaporated under the sun of the Son.
I remember one crusade in particular at Cobo Hall where the praise was rich and unashamed. Hilary and I could hear a delightlful alto voice close behind us joining in all the songs without hesitation and with interspersed exclamations of "Praise ya Lode, Thank ya Jesus." At a break in the meeting we had a pleasant conversation with this black grandmother in her upper 70's. She was a frequent attender and familiar with many of the evangelists. Clearly she knew her Bible and she knew her Jesus.
After the "seventh inning stretch" the meeting continued for another hour or so and we lost sight of our new acquaintance until dismissal with the milling crowds exiting to the riverside streets of Detroit. She was standing by a pillar out front and "was jes goin' to wait for her grandson for a ride". All alone. Late at night. Dark city streets. Crowds of strange people. Clutching her purse.
"I be awright. The Lode is here. Thank you for carin'. See you folks again mebbe. God bless."
Her sort of testimony given wherever and to whomsoever, with that fragrance of love, calm, sincerity and faithful expectation beats all the hype which the mega-churches pile onto the record of Jesus to coax an altar call or enthusiastic round of worship.
Judge for yourself. Take a look at the linked video of Steve Harvey pretending to give Jesus a "deserved" introduction at a large event: