Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Mysterious Ways

Last weekend, I was playing in Regina at Mosaic, which is their version of Winnipeg's Folklorama. Naturally, we were playing the Irish Pavillion (as we will be at Folklorama in August), and the two nights of concerts played to about 1700 people. It was a great time -- it's always fun to play on a concert-sized stage where there's lots of room to move around (with our wireless instruments), and although it was really hot in the venue, we put on possibly two of our finest shows since I've joined the band.

The "mysterious ways" bit was that I was able to spend a lot of time with some local Christians, all of whom had become followers of Jesus within the last year. The original contact had been that one of them was a waitress at the pub that we usually play in Regina, and she had numerous friends who, like herself, had recently become Christians, and were very interested to find out that one of the band members was a Christian.

We all spent most of Saturday together, and it was incredibly encouraging to hear their stories of how they became followers of Jesus, and how things like alcoholism and drug addiction had been left behind, and one of the teenagers had not only completely quit drugs, but had seen her school marks jump almost 20% -- "it's mostly because of how Jesus changed my attitude" was her comment on her scholastic improvement. She proudly wears a pink-and-white baseball cap with the words "Truckin' With Jesus" wherever she goes.

It was another reminder of the mystery of how when Christians meet, no matter how little personal history we had with each other, the Holy Spirit in me is the same Holy Spirit that is in them, and we are quickly able to have table fellowship. As we sat in a local diner having supper, holding hands around the table and praying together, I couldn't help but marvel at how God brings people together to encourage each other and be reminded that the Kingdom of God is advancing everywhere.

They kept telling me how much I'd encouraged them, but I think they totally underestimated how much more they had been an encouragement to me. It was a great weekend as a performing band, but an infinitely better one for the spiritual fruit of God's "mysterious ways".