Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bruce Springsteen and Kindness (Frank Myer)

Good evening! My devotional tonight is penned by my friend, Frank Myer. Frank and I went to Harding University together and our folks did the same several decades previously. Frank writes a weekly devotional called Friday From Frank and he has graciously loaned me several of his excellent pieces! Please continue to pray for me in Vietnam!

Good Morning Readers, and The Boss,
Steve Hawley is responsible for this week’s encouraging thought. Here’s why. Steve writes a daily blog of encouragement, which means he’s 7 times more spiritual than I am.
Some of you are thinking, “Frank, I know you, I’m pretty sure Steve hit’s 7 times just by waking up.”  I need new friends.
One of Steve’s recent blogs talked about how the song “The Midnight Train to Georgia” came about.
Short version: Jim Weatherly, songwriter, called his friend, Lee Majors, movie star, got Farrah Fawcett on the phone who said she was packing for the midnight plane to Houston. Jim liked the phrase used it to build a song. Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney, liked it, but didn’t want a city name the same as her last name in the song, change it to Georgia. Gladys Knight and her Pips, not to be confused with Pimps, lived in Atlanta at the time, liked the song, recorded it and you are probably familiar with the tune.
Oh, you’re not?
This is where I got into trouble.
Steve Hawley had a link about the song. I watched it. That wasn’t the bad part.
Bad as in non-productive, or was it? I did come up with an idea.
As you know when you watch a YouTube video, there are others on the side you can click on next. Even if you’re too lazy to click, another video will pop up on it’s own.
Ta-Da – You’re thinking that’s where I say the Bruce clips?
No, sir, or ma’am. I saw the “Whiter Shade of Pale” clips. Fascinating, at least to me.
There to the right of one of those clips was the Bruce Springsteen clips. Bruce, aka, The Boss, is a favorite of mine. How can one not like Bruce?
I watched a few of my favs, then something caught my eye. I clicked on it, and several others like it, and the idea was born. Not to be confused with “Born to Run”, that’s Bruce’s song.
Bruce Fredrick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949. He’s sold a few albums in his day. His songs cover the day to day struggles of the working man. He dressed the part of a man showing up to put in a hard day on the construction site more than someone who dresses a bit more on the eclectic side for a concert. Hello, Prince.
Bruce has sold close to 65 million albums placing him #15 of top album sales. When he performs in concert, people show up.
He is #8 on concert sales, over $350 million.
Bruce, has it working for him. He runs from a rousing “Born in the USA” to a haunting “Streets of Philadelphia.”
The number one song played in his concerts – Born to Run, 1503 times
Bruce also sings, “This Little Light of Mine.”
My favorite is Rosalita - #6 on his all-time playlist, 823 times.
This version has Clarence playing. What great memories. From 1984.
Even if you haven’t heard of him before now, you can tell The Boss is considered royalty in the music world.
What caught my attention on the You Tube clips was a title Bruce sings with a young man.
The E Street band is another staple with Bruce. One of the acts in the act is when Bruce takes request from the audience. Average attendance is a shade under 20,000.
20,000 people and Bruce is asking what do you want to hear?
Steve Colbert asked Bruce, “How does the band react to you taking request?”  Bruce said, my band members have had years of experience. One of the quickest ways to get fired from the E Street Band is to not know a song.
Anyway, as Bruce was taking request he saw a fan holding a sign, “Thunder Road, I know the words.”
Bruce called this teenager on stage. Off they went singing the song.
Then there was another clip of another song. “Save the Last Dance for Me.” Bruce pulled a fan out of the audience and sang to her while he danced with her in front of 20,000 folks.
Do you think that made her day, week, or year?
He’s asked young kids, one was a young lady who sang along. One of the band members said she needed a tambourine. Bruce made sure she had one as she sang along with the band. At the end of the song the young lady hugged Bruce, you could read her lips as she said, “Thank you.” She then handed the tambourine back and turned to walk off stage.
Bruce, the #15 top selling artist of all time, stopped her and gave her the tambourine. What do you think that walk back to her place in the crowd was like?
There were several other examples.
You can even Google “Bruce Springsteen sings with a fan,” and you will see several options.
What caught my attention was not just the expression of the people on stage, but the comments below the clips.
One comment stood out. An older gentleman talked about how in 1985 his dad gave him and an extra ticket to go hear Bruce. He wrote about how he didn’t really want to go. He went to be with his dad. After he went and say how Bruce interacted with the crowd he’s been a fan ever since.
Comments from people tell about the crowd reaction to the fans that get to go on stage.
How many people who are at the top of the heap take time to show kindness to those on the floor?
Bruce doesn’t have to do this. In fact, it’s not even a big part of the concert. Bruce is known for putting on long concerts. It’s something he enjoys, and the people certainly do.
It’s just a small gesture by Bruce, but to the fan on stage, they will talk about that for a long time.
There are many fascinating features to the stories in the Bible. One in particular is what Jesus describes as outstanding examples of kindness.
A cup of cold water.
Visiting the shut-ins.
Taking care of widows and orphans.
Small acts of kindness, easy to overlook since they’re not on stage, or Youtube.
Still, that’s what we are called to do. Show kindness. The icing on the cake is you may be making a lot bigger impression than you think.
If a guy from New Jersey named Bruce can show a little kindness, I bet you can too.
Enjoy the ride, Frank Myer

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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