With the persistence and determination of a mother going after finding a lost child, my wife barreled down the noise bleed section against the exiting crowd to the front of the stage. She was determined to meet the headliner at a concert of over five thousand people. She was on a mission to meet Kirk Franklin and thank him. Why? Because 22 years ago, almost to the day, she lay in a hospital bed for thirty days with his CD on repeat blasting down the halls. His music was her church; he was her preacher, and his message gave her the hope she needed to keep fighting. You can read about her story HERE.
As we headed to the concert down the 405 freeway, she recounted the songs that brought particular healing. Not even remembering where she had gotten the CD, The Nu Nation Project, or why she picked it, it played in her room for hours a day, days on end. She pulled up on YouTube a few of her top tracks, “Blessings in the Storm” was the first song she played for me as she annotated that no one had given her this message before in her life. She thought things were supposed to go easy, but here she was, wrapped up in bandages fighting to put her life back together. She was in the middle of the storm. Kirk taught her that this is where blessings lie; she just had to look for them. So she chose to praise the Lord, and God drew near to her in her darkest hour. He showed up in many ways, but the praise music always brought him close. “Something About The Name Jesus” was another song, a soulful centering tune to make anyone see just how beautiful our Lord and Savior is. For someone in a dark time of anguish, clinging to only him, this was her soundtrack. In those moments, Jesus became everything. Memories flooded back wither tears in her eyes as she played each track. “Gonna Be a Lovely Day,” the most commercial pop track on the album, is my personal favorite. My wife smiled as she remembered those days in the hospital room. She instantly started swaying in her seat, and I’d challenge anybody to try and listen to this song without having their spirit uplifted.
The Kingdom Tour (Irvine) was a powerful night of Kirk Franklin and Maverick City Music performing their new and old gospel hits. The night was one of unity and celebration, clearly focused on honoring Jesus. It was a sense of what heaven will look like. As Anthony Evans pointed out, “we looked like skittles because every color of the rainbow was represented” by our various ethnicities. It was church on Saturday. For my wife, it brought a sense of remembrance and healing as only music can do as she enters the 22nd anniversary of her accident. The only thing missing was the opportunity for her to thank Kirk Franklin personally. His music carried a young California nineteen-year-old girl through the most challenging time of her life. He brought her to the Father and set her soul flying with hope and a determination to heal. The healing allowed her to come through the storm stronger after tasting the goodness of God. Now we live in those lovely days and wish Kirk Franklin all the blessings in the world.