I got to spend the last 3 days of my Spring Break in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest. I had been serving at a camp in Tyler, Texas for the first part of the week then got an invite to tag along to Austin for a weekend of music and fun with a friend that was also serving at the camp. He's way more into music (at least the kind that plays at SXSW) than I am, so he made the schedule of shows he thought would be awesome and I was all in.
I'm a white girl. I like classical music, baking, high heels, ruffles, romance novels, and craft projects. I drive a chevy malibu and love opera.
Scene: Holy Hip Hop Concert.
It's at a church, there are seats, then a stage with two DJs spinning and a whole bunch of people milling around waiting for the show to start. We take our seats. I'm feeling moderately self conscious, but okay. We're not too close to the front and claimed seats. I can blend in here. I still feel like people are staring at me. The emcees come out and welcome everyone and set two rules: no sitting, and they tell people to come up front by the stage (as the smoke machines start going off and rappers get ready to come out).
Dustin says, YES! LET'S GO!!
My heart SINKS. I'm like. uhhh. I'm so uncomfortable already. I'm going to stick out. I also don't want to sit by myself. I go up there. First rapper comes out. All I can think about is how awkward I feel. How people are judging how I stand and how I bop to the music and how I look. Then I start listening to the lyrics. They are about Jesus. They are about who we are in Christ. They are about the idols we hold above Him--ourselves.
I'm so wrapped up in myself that I'm missing the point in a HUGE way. My audience isn't the people around me. Their opinion of me isn't important. They aren't judging me. THEY are enjoying the music. THEY are having fun. They don't care nearly as much about me as I do. My insecurities are taking away from the GLORY due to Jesus Christ. As my heart is hurting over my own sin and ugly focus on myself, the lyrics these rappers are singing start delighting my heart. "Ain't no party like the holy ghost party cause the holy ghost party don't stop". I start singing along. I'm swaying. I'm loving it. I make friends with some girls next to me. I'm dancing. I'M HAVING A BLAST!
My own pride is my worst enemy. Pride was keeping me from encountering Jesus at that show. Pride was assuming that MY APPEARANCE was more worthy of the attention of people around me than the saving grace of Jesus Christ presented through rap lyrics.
I'm thankful for a God that humbles me and uses my filth to drop me to my knees and points me to Him.