As quarantine and shelter-in-place orders go into effect, many are struggling to find hope.
So many artists and musicians are sharing their gifts on live streams to cheer up their fans.
Brad Paisley was a recent addition to this club, offering listeners hope through a sweet hymn.
Paisley, a country music singer and songwriter, has released eleven successful albums and regularly plays sold-out concerts across the United States.
Like many other musicians, he’s now stuck at home because of quarantine and social distancing recommendations.
So Paisley, like a multitude of other artists and entertainers, decided to share his talents with an increasingly fearful audience by hosting a Facebook Live event.
Paisley set up a video camera, sat down with his guitar, and began taking song requests from listeners around the country.
“I hope everybody’s home,” Paisley began. The singer acknowledged the importance of social distancing, but added that he hoped his impromptu concert could encourage those who felt trapped or discouraged because of their unexpected time at home.
“We have a great crowd assembled over here,” Paisley joked, showing his viewers an “audience” of stuffed animals lined up along the couch.
The songwriter then launched into an hour-long concert, accepting requests from viewers on Facebook and Instagram. The audience quickly grew as individuals and families logged on to enjoy the music.
One of the most emotional moments throughout the hour came when Paisley received a request to sing “In the Garden,” a hymn he had covered on one of his earliest albums.
“This is a great request here,” Paisley told his audience. “It’s one of my favorite Gospel songs of all time.”
“There’s something very comforting about these kinds of songs right now,” he added, before starting to strum his guitar.
Written by C. Austin Miles, “In the Garden” is a song inspired by John 20. Miles imagined the events of the chapter in vivid detail: Mary walking up to Jesus’ tomb, then encountering Jesus and receiving His presence and comfort.
“I come to the garden alone / While the dew is still on the roses / And the voice I hear falling on my ear / The son of God discloses,” Paisley began.
But the singer could barely finish the hymn’s first verse before he teared up. Deeply moved by the promises invoked in the lyrics, Paisley had to pause for moment to collect himself.
He pushed on into the chorus, singing, “And He walks with me / And He talks with me / And He tells me I am His own / And the joy we share as we tarry there / None other has ever known.”
“And the joy we share as we tarry there / None other has ever known,” he repeated, finishing the song before he broke down completely.
It was a moving experience for both Paisley and his online audience. The hymn was a powerful reminder that God is still present with His people, even in this difficult and uncertain time, and that He offers a joy unspeakable even in trials.
The rest of the hymn’s lyrics, which Paisley was unable to finish, provide a soothing picture of our time spent with God.
“He speaks and the sound of His voice / Is so sweet that the birds hush their singing / And the melody that He gave to me / Within my heart is ringing / And the joy we share as we tarry there /
None other has ever known.”
What an incredible reminder of God’s sweet presence in our times of loneliness and discouragement!
“That [song] has new meaning to me,” Paisley admitted tearfully, pausing before he moved on to another request.
“In the Garden” probably has a new meaning for many believers across the country right now. As we’re unable to attend our churches, Bible studies, or small groups, it can be difficult to feel God’s presence or even talk to Him.
But let’s remember to come to Him each day and to walk and talk with Him. Let’s pray for joy, even in these times, and let’s take every opportunity to share that joy with others.
So Brad Paisley went live on Facebook for an hour today. He was taking requests for the people at home during this time. A lady requested “In the Garden”, a 100 year old hymn. He breaks down in tears as he struggles his way through it, but still amazing.
Posted by Dennis Muntean on Thursday, March 19, 2020