“You’re a quiet guy but there is a lot in there.”
I was recently visiting some of my old stomping grounds down in West Hollywood, California. Back in the day during my brief stint in music school when I was nineteen (and intermittently throughout the years), I used to go the rock clubs on the Sunset Strip. The Whiskey, The Roxy, Gazzari’s….On this particular night, I was hanging out at the famous “Rainbow Bar and Grill” with an old friend from grade school that I hadn’t seen in a number of years, who also happens to live a few blocks away from their front door.
It was fun and energizing to be back in the area. With all of the same sights, smells and music playing in the background, it’s so easy to flashback to past moments in time. As I sat there at the bar, enjoying a fresh IPA, I began to think back on who I used to be. I’m not embarrassed to say that it’s now so easy to see how lost I was in so many ways. I had a spiritual foundation but my “anchor” was never holding me in one place, as I bounced around spiritually from one place to the next (which I know is not uncommon for someone in their late teens/early 20’s). In the midst of the conversations with my buddy that night, I would sometimes see my “old self” in my mind’s eye (almost like an outer body experience in a sense), sitting in that same place but 20+ years earlier. I could see my past intentions and my priorities clearly. How I talked, how I thought about others, about myself, about perceived social status….all have changed so much. So much in fact, that if I could sit down with the young, long haired rocker version of myself, I would give him a hug, tell him that I love him and give him a good talking to…both about what to do and what not to do. I actually feel a lot of compassion for my younger self. I guess it would be the same compassion I would feel for anyone that I could tell was broken inside (whether they know it or not). We’re all broken after all. Thank God for His redeeming grace.
For much of the night, I continued to have parallel conversations. One with my friend, one with God. In the midst of this back and forth flow, the following verse flashed through my mind….
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
God’s reminder was like someone turning on the light in a dark room. <click!>
Look how far I’ve taken you…and I’m not done with you yet.
As I felt that initial surge of encouragement, my friend turned to me and said the words at the top of this page….”You’re a quiet guy but there is a lot in there.” I would say that is definitely an interesting comment to come out of the blue….and even more interesting when coupled with the timing.
God was once again getting my attention.
I was caught up in this….“there is a lot in there.” He was right. There is a lot in here. There is a lot in all of us.
God continued the process….there is a lot “in there” that people need to hear. Not stemming from my own ego as much as I believe what God wants to speak through each of His kids….coming from our own unique hearts, heartaches, victories and circumstances. Our brokenness can speak BUT our redeemed brokenness can speak even more clearly….and bring healing in both ourselves and in others, as those thoughts that are spoken (or sung, or written) will connect with and in the lives of those that hear us. I believe that this, in turn, encourages our “hearers” to become speakers (in time) and to do the same in the lives of others.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” -Jesus speaking to His followers in Matthew 5:14
So find your voice. Believe what you have to say is valuable, because it is. Your life is your story and stories are meant to be shared and learned from (if you’re a verbal processor like I am, you may be surprised by how just much you may learn).
And this, my friend, is how the light spreads.
“Come and see what God has done….” Psalm 66:5(a)