The gatekeeper

We sat in the Charlotte airport in those fun rocking chairs they have there. As if we were on a back country porch on a back country road. We were waiting. Our 3 hour layover gave us time to sit, talk, drink Starbucks and wrap our heads around the trip ahead. It’s a long flight to California.

Cam and I were trading stories of God’s goodness. He opened up about the fear and doubt he had experienced the night before about whether God would really show up powerfully on this adventure. He admitted that life gets harder as the disappointments mount, and he wasn’t sure he could handle another one.

That’s when I heard it.

Wafting through the air was piano music from an airport piano player. Just beneath us, a young man in his twenties played skillfully on a grand piano for all of the airport travelers to enjoy. He was positioned right outside a food court area. I assumed he was there for the big jar of cash sitting conspicuously atop the piano. I was wrong.

In the exact moment Cam was reflecting on his doubts, familiar notes filled the atrium. I knew the song the pianist was playing. It was the unmistakable sound of a worship song that I love. The song’s title? “Confident” by Steffany Gretzinger.

As the piano lofted the music our way, the lyrics emerged from my memory as if someone was singing them in the distance.

You’re always moving in the unseen
The breath You exhale sustaining me
Before I call, You know my need
You’re always going before me

Then came the first few lines of the chorus.

I’m confident Your faithfulness will see me through
My soul can rest, my righteousness is found in You

The pianist couldn’t have known was was happening in that moment. He was likely only slightly aware of the angelic whisper in his ear prompting him to choose that song as his next selection. He probably assumed his audience was simply the harried passengers carting their carry-ons from one gate to the next.

Yet, what was happening was profound. He was a prophet, his keys the prophetic instrument. His fingers were declaring the truth Cam so needed to hear, that Cam could be confident in the Lord. In that moment, the pianist was the radio station launching radio waves into the air, and I was the transistor radio offering the translation. But the song was for Cam.

And more than that, the pianist was not only welcoming the passengers to Charlotte but also welcoming the Presence of God. He wasn’t welcoming God’s tangible Presence into the familiar space of a church sanctuary. Instead, he was changing the atmosphere in a place that is a gateway into the city, he the gatekeeper.

Angels gathered. And so did we.

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