It was the first night of the Jeremy Camp tour.
Lipscomb Arena – Nashville, TN.
My friends were there. My wife was there. My kids were there.
I remember during my song We Will Dance seeing my kids spinning with no shame in their game on the front row and dancing their hearts out.
It made this calloused worship leader fill with joy.
It was an amazing night.
Only little did I know that it was about to get so much more amazing…
After getting off stage I immediately went into the corridor behind the stage looking for my family so they could tell me how amazing I was.
I saw them in the distance and the closer I got the more certain I was that this was not the greeting I was looking forward to…
Sohaila, the 8 year old, was crying and was getting what looked to be a sharp tongue lashing from Heather.
The first night of my big tour and I’m going to have to spank somebody?
I walked up giving Heather the “Can you tell me what is happening without actually speaking?” look.
“Sohaila. Go ahead. Tell daddy why you are crying”
I immediately put on the face of #IfIHaveToSpankYouJustKnowILoveYou.
“Daddy. When you were singing that last song, I felt so happy. But it was weird. I was happy because I felt Jesus but it made me cry. Have you ever cried because you were happy? And I’m still crying because I felt Jesus telling me that I need to become a Christian.”
Insert animated screeching tires sound.
“Um. Oh. Wow. OK. Wow. Really? So. What do you need baby? How can daddy help you with these feelings?”
I stumbled through my words with more skill than a nervous pageant girl.
“Daddy. I want to become a Christian. Can you pray with me?”
I immediately started wondering where the closest Childrens Pastor was.
Where was her church small group leader when I needed them?
I need a track. Where was that track?
Can someone freaking show up so I don’t screw this up?!!!
Then my mind went here…
“What did I say on stage to confuse her?
Did I trick her?
I know I probably said something out of my butt that manipulated her into thinking it was Jesus and it was really me and my bad theology.”
So I started at her…
“Ok Sohaila. So you understand, this isn’t a feeling, this is a relationship, this isn’t a one time thing, it’s a life of devotion. This isn’t something to do just because you…”
About 3 minutes into my spill she stopped me…
“Daddy. I just love Jesus. And I want Him all the time. I just love Him so much and want everyone to feel the way He makes me feel”
Out of the mouth of babes…
So she prayed. Not repeating a prayer after me…Just her thoughts to God…
“Dear God. I just love you. I’ve been wanting to tell my daddy this since I was six. I love you so much. I love you so much. Amen”
Like a scene from some epic children’s movie, the second she started praying John Mark, on stage, started singing How He Loves.
When she said Amen, she looked at me and started singing with him.
We try and put so much in between our children and God to make sure they “get Him”, when the truth is…
They are closer to Him than we are on our closest days.
All she needed… was to see her father, worshiping God.
And she joined with me.
No pocket tracks…
No Disney production…
No 4 weeks of meeting with a pastor…
Just me, her, and Jesus.
It’s better that way…