There are things I remember, a lot of them, that I wish I didn't. Countless little snippets of movies, songs, an overheard conversation surface all the time in me. And I know there must be so many more clips and full-length shows that clutter up my mind and inform everything I ever see. There's no way to know how deeply that song you heard when you were three affects you as an adult.
One year my cousin invited me to go with her to a concert. It was one of those shows with a handful of different performers, put on by a popular Philly-based hip-hop/R&B radio station called Power 95FM. At the time, I didn't really listen to much popular music, but I enjoyed concerts and jumped at the chance to do something special with my cousin.
You might expect one to feel self-conscious about being perceived overly-pious or judgmental; for me, though, I am nearly always worried about something else -- about being seen and called not right.
I was familiar with all of the performers and their best-known songs. Though several big names were there, I don't recall any of the performances at all.
I remember walking in. We were late; the first performance had already begun. We were trying to hurry to get to our seats. We could see parts of the stage or some projection but only in slivers, and we could hear the music but not clearly. It was Ginuwine, I think -- the one performer I had been most concerned about during the days leading up to the show. I could see and hear enough to know that my fears were valid, but by the time we got into the auditorium, his time was ended and the next artist was coming out. I was so glad.
Ginuwine was a male R&B singer who had this popular, essentially pornographic song, which a quick Google search reminds me was called "Pony." He was known for dancing suggestively and maybe even removing parts of his clothing -- I can't be sure about that though, and I am not going to go looking for the answer either.
I heard comments later, and maybe during the show, about how hot that performance was. Thinking back on it now, I know, I would never have forgotten that show. Had we been there on time, and not gotten inexplicably lost in a familiar area of Philadelphia, I would never have forgotten that show.
Looking back on it, a memory I am glad I don't have, I feel rescued. It is a tangible spot that I can grab a sense of God's sovereign care for me.
It was good to have a way out -- so very good.
Why don't I just bow out, abstain? Well, it's shame, embarrassment.
You might expect one to feel self-conscious about being perceived overly-pious or judgmental for having to excuse oneself from certain songs or movie scenes, and that certainly is often the case. For me, though, I am nearly always worried about something else -- about being seen and called not right. I think I have an audience, and that, somehow, they know me. I feel uncovered, like I'm publicly admitting something that I meant to keep private, and I hate it.
My cousin initially invited me to another Power 99 concert the next year; later she came up with an excuse to rescind the invite. I was disappointed but not about missing the show. About that, inwardly, I was glad. I had felt somehow obligated to go once asked even though the prospect of going to such a show again struck fear in me; it was good to have a way out -- so very good.
Thinking back on it now, I know, I would never have forgotten that show.