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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Alvey

Made For You

Rhythm and Jewels


Twenty One Pilots - Target Center, Minneapolis, MN 10/24/19

Between having small children at home and living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, my husband (Ryan) and I have not had the chance to see many concerts in recent years. It seems that Hawaii is not a convenient stop in a tour schedule! So as soon as we moved to the mainland, I was eager to see a show, but not just any show--I wanted to see a band that I love. The band I have been listening to the most lately is Twenty One Pilots, so when I searched their tour schedule and saw that they were stopping in our area, I was beyond excited.

It was an amazing show. The stage lights, pyrotechnics, video screens, and their movement to different stages and platforms (including a platform on top of the audience that people near the front held up with their hands) were all icing on the cake, the cake being thought-provoking lyrics and creative music and beats. As some of you may know, I wrote an article about their song, “My Blood” from the album “Trench,” which was posted on Mockingbird. In order to understand the rest of this post, you may want to take a detour and read that one: I’ll Go With You

As you can see, that song has a special place in my heart because of the way it spoke to me when I was struggling with being in a new place, and it continues to speak to me in many situations. When they played this song at their concert, I was thoroughly enjoying it when suddenly towards the end of the song, the singer (Tyler Joseph) stopped moving and singing, and just stood there. He turned his body slightly and started staring at our section of the audience. I don’t remember if the audience was singing part of the song or if it was a musical interlude, but he stood there for quite a while looking up. In my mind I was thinking, “Wow, it feels like he’s looking straight at me.” But as you can see from the picture, it’s not like we were in the front row or anything. That would be impossible for him to be looking at me, right? But then Ryan leaned over to me and said, “He’s looking right at you!” It was such a strange experience. Why did Ryan say that he was looking at me instead of us or our section?

I’m not delusional. I know that Tyler Joseph was not really looking at me, and Ryan was probably just making that comment because he knows that that particular song is special to me. But still, it was interesting. It made me think about the feeling of being singled out. What are the chances in such a large crowd? But here’s the thing about good music: when it touches your heart, it does feel like the singer is speaking directly to you. The words speak to you where you are, and maybe that means that a lot of us are in similar spots.

This also made me think about God speaking to me when he has so many people to be concerned about. That is where Tyler Joseph and other musicians reach their limit. They may write a song that feels like it was made for you, but they don’t actually know you. This is just a small illustration of the mystery of particularity. How is it that when God speaks in his word, I hear it speaking to me? How is it possible that when I pray to him, he hears me? I don’t know how he does it, but God singles us out and knows us intimately. The Creator of the Universe knowing my name is a true mystery.

It reminds me of the story in the Bible when Jesus is walking through a thick crowd of people, and one woman doesn’t want to be a burden or get attention, and she thinks, “If I just touch his clothes, then I will be healed.” Jesus turns to the crowd and asks, “Who touched me?” This baffles the disciples because they see people crowding all around him and bumping into each other. But the woman hesitantly comes forward, and Jesus looks directly at her and says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:24-34)

It can be both terrifying and exhilarating to be singled out, especially by God. But he is a loving God who looks straight at you and does not see your faults or imperfections, he sees you as a child who is healed in Christ. And we stand in the crowd of people wondering, “Could it be? That he would care about someone like me?” The answer is Yes! He sees you, and he loves you.

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