do with God. I even said it to myself. I'm going for the newsboys, to have fun with my friends and to get a much needed break. Yes, being a Christian concert, God was involved, if even indirectly. But He wasn't my reason for going. I love the newsboys lately and was excited to get a chance to see them on this tour as they are not coming near us. I had already lamented to the drummer and he apologized and then Jenn called and said "We're going to IN". YAY! So my reasoning had nothing to do with experiencing God, it could have been any other rock concert for me in my intentions.
I took my camera with me, my pro one. The last 2 newsboys concert I've been to this summer I just had a small point and shoot and had been unable to take the photos I'd really wanted. I spent a lot of time during the opening acts taking pics for light testing and during Seventh Day Slumber I took some real shots, b/c I now like them (great in concert, wish I'd had gone to the Cumberland show!) Now, we had decent seats, but not the best thanks to a foul up on our dear Duncan's part. A newsboy rep was supposed to meet Jenn and me and spirit us away to a magical world of backstage fun and drum riser pics. Didn't happen. What did happen though was Duncan coming out and personally apologizing to us profusely for quite some time and then letting us hang out with him in a restricted off stage area. Quite fun indeed. Unfortunately, what this meant was I had to shoot through the crowd, which with my lens is no big deal. However, we were at a Christian concert. This meant that many hands at times were raised above heads, making it much more difficult to shoot. I actually at one point during S.Day Slumber thought, darn it if these people would quit worshipping....not a good thought, even though I was joking. (somewhat). Then I saw these 3 guys that just would not put their darn hands down and of course, they were right in my line of shooting to get the frontman in frame. So I put down my camera for a minute and enjoyed the songs more consciously than before. While I was doing that I thought to shut off the flash to get these guys in sillouhette, with the front man focused. Doing this I got some pretty cool shots. One like the one above, which I am calling, What Its All About.
You see, even if you're like me and you just need a good time so you head to a concert to see a rock band, if you're going to a Christian show, its not going to be just a show. It can't be. You see, no matter what your intentions, if you get together with a group of Christians and start singing praises-screamed in a hard song or sung softly in worship-God shows up. Its no longer a concert. Its no longer about the band you are obsessed with. God's presence fills the room and your focus is drawn to him. Its not about the drums, lights, guitars, vocals-its about God. I saw that picture and immediately thought-that's what its all about-worship. The hands praising God are in the forefront and the rock star seems far in the distance and seen through that worship. Even though I went not necessarily for a God experience (though I knew there would be one) he still comes. It still happens and my focus is still drawn to him.
I don't even know how to explain the awe-encompassing experience of gathering together with thousands of strangers for a fun time, you end up singing and then sharing in God's awesome presence. It is such a beautiful thing, so comforting, so powerful, so beyond words. Even if you really aren't in the mood to feel God or worship, you can't help it. Its real, its tangible, its the Creator of the universe and all things spending time with his people, his children. Its so much more than a concert, its love coming down among us.
Going to a concert is so fun and exciting and makes me feel young again. But I am thankful that I can go to concerts that just don't have an empty purpose of entertaining but that I can go and have the time of my life and leave knowing I met with my God.