Thursday, September 19, 2013

John Community Group Chapter 6: Throngs

This post will no doubt be scattered and possibly hard to follow! (Hey, I'm Cara who is scatter-brained lately! Glad you could stop by to read along today!)  ;)

A couple of weeks ago Matt and I went to an outdoor concert that he'd bought tickets for back in February. I'm sure that when he planned the weekend, he knew he'd have months to find out all the intricate details and plan each step of the way as he usually does. But he didn't exactly plan on May 20th going as it did. After our summer, we looked forward to this particular weekend, hoping it would be a nice get away and could quite possibly be the best concert of our entire concert career!!

Well, part of our family's trauma from the tornado is my husband's mental capacities being grossly affected (mine too), but it shows more on his end because he is the natural planner in our family--you know, the one who sets the timers, alarms, calendar reminders, scours maps, routes, itineraries...

That sort of didn't happen for our weekend! So we arrived on Saturday at noon to the outdoor concert venue, thinking the band would be playing very soon because the booklet printed months ago said 12 pm. It was also going to heat up to the high 90s that afternoon, by the way. When we arrived and stood in front of the stage with maybe 200 other people so far, I thought, this won't be too bad. Everyone seems to be giving me enough space to stand comfortably. It's hot, yes, but the band will play in an hour or so and we'll be distracted by great music, right?

Oh boy. Wrong. We heard from others that the band would not appear until after 8:00 that night! Matt didn't want to give up our ridiculous spot of ground right in front of the stage; it was going to be a killer view from where we stood. But this girl was not going to stand there for 8 hours solid just to see a band play. No way. I'd signed up for a romantic weekend away, not a sweat contest. I thought of the incredible bed and breakfast that sat waiting for us a mere 30 minutes away. And here we sat--thick with sweat and bad tempers. But I wanted Matt to enjoy this concert, so I spent $50 on a stinking blanket out of desperation for something to sit on, bought two strawberry smoothies for $14 that melted in 5 minutes flat, bought a dinky little umbrella for $20 to get the sun off my body...

Let's just say none of that helped, or worked, or fixed any of the problems that were suddenly giving me a panic attack! The decision was made to leave, MUCH to my appreciation. This meant we'd lose our incredible spot, but Matt decided having a happy wife was of greater value than a stone's throw view of one of his favorite bands. I believe he mentioned something about Proverbs and a leaky faucet...not sure what that was about! ;)

We came back a few hours later, closer to the actual concert time, and I saw the largest throng of people I've ever seen at one time. The estimation was 35,000. We carried our blanket in and found a patch of ground in the stretching shade--prime real estate! I was in a much better mood at this point, what with the sun no longer beating down my back, a gentle breeze whispering in, and the ease of knowing I had only another hour of waiting left rather than eight! So I had some people-watching time to kill.

Many of these people were already drunk, by the way, so much of their actions were ludicrous at best. I have rarely felt as out of place as I did in that moment. Not so much the alcohol, but just the completely different type of people. Most large gatherings I've attended were something to do with God, so there usually are not intoxicated people present! I sat on the blanket and gazed out at all the different people before me. There were some seriously different-minded people, but we were all there for the same thing: music. I thought of this very story of Jesus feeding such a large throng of people as we sat there. And I wondered how all the people felt and how they related to one another as they waited to hear Jesus speak. How far had they come? How determined were they to stick it out even if it was hot, and they were tired and thirsty and hungry?

Now when I read about Jesus feeding these 5,000 people, I may always think of this outdoor gathering that we experienced. I wonder if the people were as hot and sweaty as we were, if they were as cranky as I was! I gave up in the middle of the day because it just wasn't worth it. But would I have stuck around in the same conditions if it were Jesus I was waiting to see? These people were crazy, I decided. They would sit for an entire day in nearly 100 degree heat to see a band. Yes, I know, a band who happens to be a pretty big deal, but you get what I mean.

Do you think we'd sit for hours on end, bathed in sweat, with no food or water, closed in by thousands of people--all for a chance of an encounter with Jesus? I wonder if I would. I got pretty cranky as it was, and I was afforded the option of bowing out or buying something cold to drink! I'd love to hear what you ladies see in this chapter. This week has been very crowded and strangely difficult for us, so I knew my post this week would be different! Thanks for bearing with me and reading along!

And let me give a heads up on next week! We are going out of town for a MUCH appreciated and needed family vacation, so next week the post will be by a guest blogger, one of my closest friends over the years. This woman has so much wisdom and a tender heart toward the Lord, and I can't wait for you to hear from her! :)

Peace of Christ to you,


  1. Hello,
    Received a beautiful thank you note from you blessed our socks off. To give a gift because we heard of a need through a friend, because God tells us to, then to find out that the gift has gone to family that knows Christ as their savior, well all I can say is GOD is GOOD, and we ask that He blesses your socks off! Hugs, April De Jong

  2. I too feel like you did in this post. It seems as if everything is in chaos this week and I can't get a handle on it.
    Those who know me well know that I am my own worst enemy because I am a perfectionist in everything I do.
    So when things spin out of control I know it is time to turn it "all" over to Christ and leave it there. And when I do my world settles down and the "throngs" of life that were knocking at my door seem to retreat.
    A footnote in my Bible in this Chapter 6 sums this chapter up pretty good: "Jesus fully satisfies the deepest need of the human heart, but that satisfaction is forfeited by those who do not believe."
    I choose to believe and feast from the bread of life even among the throngs!

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