I’m sitting in a hotel room in Houston Texas, having just witnessed one of the most unique events of recent US History, The Response.
Earlier this year, Governor Rick Perry expressed a desire for a Joel 2 prayer meeting – a day of repentance, truly Jesus centered, to be held in Texas. Through circumstances too circuitous to relay (although truthfully not that interesting), Kelsey and I ended up helping lead the event. I spent 95 percent of the day perched on the front right corner of the stage, moving people back and forth and adjusting the schedule on the fly.
This could have gone wrong about a hundred different ways…but it didn’t.
We might have not gathered the crowd. Truthfully, the mobilization team put sixty days effort into it. Even this morning NPR and others were predicting crowds of 8,000. Last week the plan was to seat the auditorium for 10,000….but our director felt otherwise. We moved the stage back a considerable distance and made room for more. The organization is holding to an ultra conservative 30,000+ estimate, although I heard as high as 44,000 from the Texas Rangers officials.
The preachers might have wigged out. Pastors are a funny lot. Most have good hearts, but like any human being, can get a little strange when the lights come up and the microphones are on. Instead, they stayed on topic, prayed more than they preached, and with a few exceptions, kept within their allotted time slot. As a stage manager, I’ve had far rougher days.
The governor might have politicized the event. You may have never heard of Governor Perry until recently. There’a lot of talk about him potentially running for president. Today would have been an opportune moment for him to capitalize on the crowd – one that a major news outlet said was “significantly larger than any GOP candidate had been able to generate”. Instead, he read scripture and prayed for God’s mercy on our nation and a blessing on our leaders from the President on down. It wasn’t just classy – it was Godly.
In the end, the far day was more than I hoped it might be. The people came. The preachers prayed. The governor led in the most important arena of his life – one of corporate repentance.
They have almost persuaded me to become a Texan.
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