Steve Hindalong - Rhythm and Light - pt. II
- 2000 15 Aug
I met my wife, Nancy, at Azusa Pacific College. She was from Idaho and had never seen the California beach at night, so I somehow maneuvered us there on our first date. It was February 1, 1980. Under the moonlight, her eyes shone like diamonds. I was spun, smitten-gone. She was cute beyond belief and a beautiful soul-still is. For my twenty-first birthday she gave me a copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. She is a giver of good gifts. We were married in June of '82.
Around that same time I developed a musical partnership with Derri Daugherty that would eventually become The Choir. We recorded our first six (of ten) albums in six years, went through four bass guitar players, wore out five Econoline vans (for the glory of rock music and for the sake of the ministry), and discovered, but for the blood of Jesus, what wretches we truly are. I'll incriminate only myself.
I have always been appreciative of our Savior's first miracle-changing water into wine. I love wine-and vodka on the rocks (not too many rocks, thanks). Alcohol is a tremendous diffuser of reality's harsh glare. It's shelter in a glass; peace, joy, and love in a bottle. Spirits (not the holy sort) lure abusers like me into the erroneous freedom of darkness-but it is a darkness that enslaves.
So-lights on! I'm at a festival in Atlanta, under the influence-drunk, that is-and on stage-under the spotlight-making a mockery of any tempo. For an encore we played "Restore My Soul," which I was inclined to bring to a ridiculous climax, in typical rock-n-roll drummer style, with an onslaught of rapid, furious bashing, concluding with a leap into the air and the delivery of a final punctuating blow to the cymbals-the musical equivalent of "Thank you, good night!" Only this time I missed my drum throne on the way down and wound up flat on my back. It should have been an embarrassing moment, but at that point in my "career" I didn't so much care. And it was good for more than a few laughs. (There's something funny about a lot of sad things.) I had grown deaf to my Father's call-had fallen out of sync with His pulse-lost the beat.
There were other indiscretions. Cruel words slurred-forgive me, dear friends. Recklessness behind the wheel-God, have merciful eyes.
I tried to avoid the gaze of God in '89. It was just after the release of The Choir's fifth and most idealistic album, Wide-Eyed Wonder. That's when I wandered right down into the valley. Certain matters are best kept private, so I'll only say that I risked losing my truest treasure-my gift from heaven above. But Nancy held on to me tightly. We prayed together. We sought wise counsel. I opened my ears, my mind, my heart-and found freedom in the light. I turned my eyes once again toward the Lord of amazing grace, the Giver of peace, the Healer of my spirit. And yes, I found it to be true-He restores my soul!
No, everything wasn't fixed, and it still isn't. My wickedness still causes sadness. My betrayal still leads to distrust. My treachery still wounds. Yesterday I sinned-and I'll sin again tomorrow. That's why Jesus went to Calvary, a crown of thorns pressed upon His sacred head-to heal the brokenhearted and set the prisoner free. I believe. And I am forgiven-forgiven-forgiven.
Today, I built a garden. Well, it's not a garden yet, because nothing is growing in it. In fact, nothing has even been planted yet. That'll be Nancy's job. She'll forever be the tender of the garden. She drew a diagram for me to follow, so I tilled the soil, drove stakes, tied lines, graded the ground, mixed in peat moss and fertilizer, cut border timbers, and spiked them into the earth. And I remembered Jesus-His hands and His feet. Tomorrow I'll be a bit sore, but "ya know you're alive when you're feelin' a little pain" (I like to say that now and again. I'm not sure what it means, but I'm fairly certain it's profound). The sun will do its part, sure as our planet will spin in perfect time. Raindrops will drum gently upon tiny new leaves. Then, in the months to come, I will thoroughly appreciate whatever flowers, vegetables, and herbs my wife cultivates-and so will our girls, Erin, 10 and Emily, 12. I've so much to live for! Eternally!
Dear Father, thank You for blessing me so richly with family and friends. Thank You for creating me from dust, for breathing life into my soul. Thank You for sending Your Son to save me from death-for sending Your Spirit to lead me out of darkness. I praise You for Your sovereignty and for Your everlasting word. Teach me to see You even now, on this day-to hear You-to know You. Teach me to love others, thereby loving You. Teach me to dance in the fullness of Your radiant glory while celebrating the rhythm that is You in me, light from Light, true beat from True Beat.
Taken from: City On A Hill
Copyright 2000 by Steve Hindalong
Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 and
CCM Books, a division of CCM Communications, Nashville, TN 37205
Used by Permission