The song “Everlasting God” by Lincoln Brewster has not been a favorite of mine until now. A month ago, a volunteer who serves alongside me on Tuesday afternoons, began talking about the power of music with our juvenile offenders. Before we knew it, we were singing classics by Michael Jackson. I love seeing young people close their eyes as they sing and imagine being somewhere else.
As we talked about the power of music with a group of teens in a local detention center, a young man named Dez mentioned how much he loved playing guitar. The following week we got permission to bring in a guitar and found someone willing to donate one.
When we brought in the guitar, Dez was shackled and separated from others for his protection. Dez saw guitar, smiled and started jumping up and down, making the shackles around his ankles and wrist jingle like bells. The shackles were removed from his wrists and as I handed him the guitar, he began tuning it as though it had always belonged to him. I learned that had Dez taught himself to play guitar by watching YouTube videos and hadn’t played for over a year.
As Dez began strumming, we were amazed at his choice of song. And then he began to sing:
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
The presence of God filled that space and worship began, led child of God. While Dez was worshiping, he was free.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT) says, “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” – even in prison. The detention staff and I will never be the same because in this incident, we experienced worship in a place that to many is hopeless. But I am so thankful, especially this Easter season, that Jesus is hope to the hopeless, and I was able to experience Jesus through a child of his named Dez.