At 37,00 feet, an open door could mean an emergency or an opportunity for glory! For me on this particular February morning, it was the latter. As I usually do, I boarded the Southwest plane my guitar in hand, I received the standard smiles, the few typical concerned expressions (possibly inner hopes that my guitar would not find its way into their overhead bin), and the usual off-handed questions, "Do you play guitar?" or "You 'gonna play for us?"
I've been asked that on every flight I've taken the last twenty years, and my response has always been the same: "I'd be happy to!" No one ever took me up on it - until flight #2293.
The Denver crew was on duty that day and happened to be music appreciators who thought it would be a nice treat for their passengers to have live tunes. At this point, they hadn't even heard me sing and didn't know whether I could carry a tune in a bucket or play a lick of guitar. Still they gave me the microphone as we were flying over Kansas 37,000 feet up.
I was nervous. This audience was captive - literally. But God opened this door, and I was going to "sing" through it! "God Bless America" was my first choice - a Christian tribute to our military. After a nice applause, they allowed me another, and I chose the familiar hymn "How Great Thou Art", acknowledging and praising the One who created the very skies we were flying through. Tyler, the kind steward, thanked me and announced my website to the cabin. Promo! On the walk back to my seat, folks complimented, thanked me for singing, asked what I do, took a business card and looked up my website. Seriously - there were message postings and comments on social media before we even landed in Phoenix! The stewardess who recorded on her phone posted the video on her personal FB page. Of the two songs I sang, she got the hymn - just a little more glory for the Lord.
The video did not go viral. It did, however, serve a purpose intended for it. The melodies sung boldly to a cabin of strangers moved hearts and bolstered the faith and courage of many who heard and shared it.
Funny thing - the woman I sat next to on my return flight four days later had also been on flight #2293. She was interested in hearing more about being bold for Jesus in her marriage to an unbeliever, desiring to raise her two boys in faith. We filled most of that three hour trip home with spiritual conversation.
The Apostle Paul says in I Peter 3:15 "always be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that you have." I'm staying prepared, and I'll be continually vocal, ready to speak and sing for His praise through every open door. Bring it on!
**Published in the Relevant Christian Magazine - July 31, 2016