The Shoes in Carnegie Hall

On top of the Empire State Building
I've been in New York City since Wednesday. Yesterday my Mom, Kandace and I flew home after a beyond words, incredible five days. I can honestly say that NYC is almost the complete opposite of what I'm used to. It was fast-paced, loud, bright, and highly tech. My mouth hung open from the moment I stepped off the plane. Wednesday night we walked down Times Square and I was on stimulation overload at all the screens. Thursday morning we had rehearsal and then that night we went to see Wicked. I've always wanted to see a Broadway show and I was beside myself.  Friday we had rehearsal in the morning as well and then went to the Empire State building at night. I have never been so cold in my life. I am not exaggerating. The wind chill was below zero on top of the tallest building. As much as the cold took my breath, the view did more. Saturday was the big day. They said to take it easy, but we went ice skating at Central Park instead. Surrounded by tall city building and the Plaza hotel was crazy. I couldn't skate well, but I gave it all I had! That afternoon after cleaning up I stepped onto the Carnegie Hall stage for the first time. I went dizzy from the thrilling overload. I've seen few things as beautiful as the view from that stage. The rehearsal flew by and suddenly I was getting ready for the concert of a lifetime. The rest was a dream. I sang with all of my heart. The crowd applauded and I basked in the moment and the wonder of the Lord's presence. I stepped to the front of the stage to sing in an ensemble and I tried to let it sink in that I was standing at the front of the grandest stage in the world. All the music was glorious. The orchestra and hundreds of people in the choir vibrated the Hall. The Annie Moses Band played more beautifully than I've ever heard them. I'm not sure if music can sound more beautiful than what was in that Hall Saturday night.
After the concert we kissed it goodbye and loaded onto the cruise. I watched in wonder as NYC passed by, the lights of the buildings shimmering on the water. At about 1 am the Statue of Liberty drew near and I stepped out on the deck to join the others in singing "God Bless America" as we gazed at the magnificent and extremely tall Statue literally directly in front of us. We returned to our hotel at 3 am and I slept. We awoke and flew home leaving NYC for the mountains of NC.

This is where the story really begins. You may ask why I named this blog post "The Shoes in Carnegie Hall." Well, it began while I was sitting on the Carnegie Hall stage during rehearsal. I looked down at my feet while I was waiting for my turn to sing and something hit my like a ton of bricks as I looked at my shoes. They were one of my favorite pair of shoes. They are just plain black shoes with a strap. I love to wear them. I wear them a lot, because they work for comfort and look nice too. But it hit me that I had worn them in Ethiopia. In fact, I wore them to the most rural village we went to... Mt. Geleye. They had walked on the ground of some of the most extreme poverty in the world. I looked up and saw where I was then. Carnegie Hall's golden glow almost became a blur as I looked back down. Those shoes had gone from the two most opposite places. From the depths of Africa to the most famous and beautiful Hall in the world. God spoke to me the simple words, "And so you go. You have shared Me with the Ethiopians and you will share Me with those here tonight. And, you are to share Me with everyone in between." Just as my shoes had seen the two extremes, so had I. God told me that He sees them both and all between. Even my little town of Wilkesboro. He told me to be used wherever I am. Everywhere. Beautiful are the feet of those that bring the good news, says Romans 10:15. I choked up as I remembered the persecuted in Africa and then as I thought of the many confused city people that rush through the bright streets of NYC and then of everyone in between.

It may sound crazy but, my shoes reminded me to go. Go. Go. Go to my church and use my gift there. Go to Mexico and serve there. Go to Africa and serve there. Go to NYC and serve there. Go where Jesus says. For now I'm at home and I'm determined not to get down because the excitement is over. It has only begun. God has stamped my heart with a mission. I am to make Him known through my actions, words I write, music I play and sing and the smile on my face. I won't let Him down. Will you? Will you? He has so much planned and it starts with a, "Yes, Lord. Use me."


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