Canadian musician Steve Bell was in town recently with a few friends: jazz pianist Mike Janzen & singer/songwriter Jon Buller. The local date of the tour also included some numbers by the newly signed Kerri Woelke.
I love Steve Bell's easy story-telling style. He weaves music and memories together. I was tempted to say "at his performances", but I have never had the sense that his shows/concerts are performances. He has an unmatched stage presence.
I was really delighted to hear Jon Buller again. I had the privilege of working with him many years ago for a one-off weekend event in Winnipeg - he provided the music for a regional event & I think I came up some sort of talks/events, under the auspices of some great folks from the local Anglican diocese. I had never listened to his music prior to that event, and picked up a couple of his CDs. One of his songs has had a special place in my heart for a long time. It was just around the time that we received the news that SJ was suffering from congestive heart failure in the womb, among many other probable medical difficulties. Shortly thereafter we received new that SJ also was likely to live with Down Syndrome, should she come to term.
We went home and my wife went to sleep. I remember wanting to pray, but not knowing where to begin. For some reason I put on one of Jon's CDs, and played a track called "Lord How Excellent". It is based on Psalm 8
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
O Lord how excellent is your name in all the earth.
The song itself speaks of praising God in the midst of difficulties, remembering that there is healing in the act of praise. Jon helped me through that night, and many nights to come.