Last night I attended Nashville School of the Arts' graduation ceremony. To be honest, I was secretly hoping it would be a lot like High School Musical 3. While it was certainly the most unique graduation I have ever attended, it topped High School Musical 3. NSA turns graduation into a final curtain call for their graduating class. They allowed the students not only to perform in their chosen field of arts, they also encouraged and celebrated their individual personalities. However, one thing stood out in my mind the most. It was one of those life moments that just happen. But for the person they happen to and the audience it can be a beautiful picture of a bigger truth. One of the senior valedictorians came on stage to perform a violin solo of a composition by JS Bach. Besides the piano, the violin is my favorite instrument. I love the sound it makes even if I don't know the song it is playing. She began to play and about 2 minutes into it, unknowingly to me and probably most of the audience, she apparently made a mistake. Unable to recover gracefully, she stopped, squeaked out "Im Sorry" and ran, embrassed, off the stage. I am not musically inclined nor am I polished enough to know such great music. I had no idea of the mistake and never heard it. But she knew. And it was too much for her to bear to stand in front of her class, her professors, and her family and continue. But in one of the most chilling events of the night, her whole graduating class, sitting out in the audience with their caps and gowns, started cheering her name. It started with a few rows. And then a few more joined in. And a few more. Before we knew it everyone, including myself, was chanting her name over and over. Begging her to come back out. Begging her to try again. God spoke to my heart in that moment. He showed me that that is EXACTLY what He does when I blow it. When I make some devastating mistake that embarasses me and makes me want to run away, He's there. When I say something stupid to someone who needs comfort, when I knowingly enter in sin out of my own selfishness, when I am simply human, He is there in the audience. And He begins to chant my name. Begging me to come back and try again. And Jesus joins in. And the Holy Spirit too. And the whole room is filled with chanting "Taryn! Taryn! Taryn!". When I want to run away, He begs me to come back to Him. And He isn't so passive as to just sit in the chair when I refuse to come back. He goes the extra step. He gets out of His chair, He comes to the backstage, finds me, puts His arm around me and tells me how wonderful I am in His eyes. He nudges me out and walks me back to the center stage and smiles as I begin to start over. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of how many times He has done this for me. I think it is this kind of experience that made the Psalmist write, "Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. I was brough low and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling."
Thank you Jesus. Thank you.