I need some toast to Lay on

Last night I went to a club in Seattle called Graceland to see a band I like. It’s called As I Lay Dying. For those not in-the-know I will now recreate what they sound like:

Drums: Bambambambambambam… Bambambambambambam

Guitar: Chugchugchugchugachug… Chugchugchugchugchug

Vocals: Rwa rrgh raaa wrrrraa!….. Rwraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!

They are one of the best metalcore bands out there and they are Christians too. So want to support that. They have great lyrics that I really connect with. They talk a lot about the grace of God and our failure to match His effort.

As I Lay Dyings’ set was sandwiched between two other bands. Both of which suffer from the scenes typical pseudo-satanic-shlock-horror/we-hate-weak-minded-Christians routine. Their music was really tight though. These 3 bands have been touring together for a while now, and the other vocalists had only great things to say about the As I Lay Dying crew between songs. “The sweetest guys you’ll ever meet.” “Amazing musicians.” Etc. It’s cool how they can have this persona of hatred towards Christians, but then find themselves working with and respecting them.

It was a pretty typical crowd filled with scenesters wearing black T-shirts and hair in their eyes. (Not that my T-shirt wasn’t black.) Then there were a few of the obligatory giant cretins who just want to hurt people. It seems like I always end up taking on police duty whenever I’m at these shows. Because the big jerks inevitably start getting violent around the smallest girls. So I end up throwing my body in the way, distracting the bulls like a rodeo clown. Fortunately I’m pretty good at taking a beating, so it’s not that bad. Then, when I’m not busy protecting the little ones, or helping people to their feet before they are trounced, I’m helping people get up on top of the crowd for a little surfing. I only made it up once during the set. I got thrown on stage, then following proper crowd surfing etiquette, hastily got out of the way of the vocalist by jumping back onto the crowd. But then I was washed back onto the stage again. At this point a disgruntled bouncer apparently thought I was doing something wrong and grabbed my by the belt and collar and angrily threw me off the side of the stage into some speakers. I gave him a friendly "thank-you" as he shouted curses at me. (For some reason I can't get angry at people.) I’m still not sure what I did wrong. There were constantly people getting haplessly tossed up there. It’s not like you can control where or when you land.

I got to do a little moshing too. I only go into the circle for short bursts, and try to duck out when the angry people come swinging. There was this one large girl that seemed to specifically want to hurt me. She kept punching and kicking me over and over. Maybe she was possessed, I don’t know. Which brings me to an interesting discovery…

This was my first show of this type since God so lovingly took me back under His wing. One of the amazing changes I’ve experienced is a spirit of thanksgiving that has permeated every nook and cranny of my life. I would think that in a place like this, with all the satanic utterances and violence that His Spirit might not pervade and speak to me there. But you know what? He did. I found myself prompted to say some short prayers thoughout the evening. I felt His love, I heard His voice. I was really just there to have a good time and jump around like an idiot to crazy music. I wasn’t thinking one way or another about God. But He still found me and reminded me that He loves me. That is so romantic! It’s like being on a business trip and finding your significant-other ordered flowers to your room. Maybe I need to realize I can’t romance God. He is romancing me. “Even if I descend to the darkest depths, there You still are.”

When I got home and peeled my sweat soaked clothes off to get in the shower (It had to be 110 degrees in there!) I noticed my torso and arms are sporting a ton of nasty looking of bruises, and I got a really cool boot-heal mark on my forehead. (Right where Harry Potter has his scar.)

Today I was at a different event with a similar demographic. I was at the Penny Arcade Expo here in Bellevue. It’s an event for game fanatics to get together and celebrate all things geeky. The crowd mostly had black T-shirts, but instead of heavy metal bands on them there were video game characters or references. I was demoing my company’s game which means standing around for hours explaining the basic concept to people over and over and over.

Then, right after that I rushed to church because it’s my turn to help with the kids in Sunday School. (My church has a service on Saturday evenings too.) I got to chase 7 pre-schoolers around for 2 &1/2 hours.

So after last night and today, I feel like jelly.

Or possibly marmalade.


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