UPDATE: For those who want to know, the video I linked to on You Tube was posted by someone else. But I was at the concert the night it was filmed. For the record, it was filmed in Denver at "The House of Joy Miracle Deliverance Church" That's the Pastor, Ralph Beechum directing the choir. "Whether You're Man, Woman, Girl or Boy, You're Always Welcome At The House Of Joy!" Yes I was there that night. It was an amazing night.
Judging by the traffic to this blog, I'm not the only person surprised that Larry Norman was mentioned during last night's Grammy awards. Normally I would say that most people reading this don't know who Larry is, but clearly there are few folks around the country, and some from other countries, who not only know of Larry, but felt compelled to search the Internet today to find out what people were saying.
Seems amazing to me to think that Larry has been gone from the planet for nearly a year. I'm just now starting to get used to the idea. Last night's mention on the Grammy's, naming people who had died in the last year, drove me to Larry's official website, where the media page has two amazing photo montages. Both played at Larry's funeral, one with video footage, the photo montage full of family photos, most never seen. Go check it out here.
I've wanted to write about Larry before. For months after his death last year, I started to, but struggled to find the words. I was also caught up in the controversy stirred up by his death, or actually, by his life......and I spent months reading other's words.............some too easy on him, but many too harsh.
I have my own Larry Norman stories. Like most who spent time around him, he was a man not easy to understand, who moved from the outrageous to the ridiculous, to the profoundly spiritual all with in the course of an hour. And then there was the time I ran into him in Nashville, in the lobby of the Ryman, no less. But that's a story for another day........
As a youth pastor, it was how he responded to my "kids" that made the most impact. And respond he did. With love and compassion. His music and his time touched them, and therefore me.
Since we are soon to be looking at the anniversary of his death, I think I will do my best to write something that will honor the impact of that sad, sweet, troubled, profound, gifted, quirky, radical lover of Jesus.
Stay tuned, or come back by................
In the meantime..........check out this video.........poorly filmed and edited.....but what a night, I was there.........and at least one of you reading this was too.............