Last night while walking down North Avenue towards The Crown, I saw the doors of a church opened with some folks congregating on the outside. They looked to be in their teens, early twenties maybe. There was a sweet melody humming inside. I instinctually wanted to continue walking, but the music was penetrating. I stopped my feet and made eye contact with one of the ladies standing on the steps. Before I could even ask her what was going on, she informed me that they were having midnight worship service, [something that happens every weekend], and that I could go in and check it out if I wanted to. I marched up the stairs and stood in the doorway of the sanctuary, I didn’t really have any intentions on staying. The sanctuary was BEAUTIFUL. It gave me a very old fashion vibe, somewhat gothic with a sprinkle of millennial and Christmas. There were Christmas lights [single colored] that ran up and down the steeples, but it didn’t interfere with the “gothic”/old aesthetic. There were a few people inside of the church, a few Black, a few white, a few others. Some had their hands raised and were completely into the worship music. The band was amazing too. There was a drummer, a pianist and I believe one or two singers. I don’t remember what the song was called and I didn’t even stay in there for more than 3 minutes. But at one point, they were singing something along the lines of what sounded like, “The atmosphere is shifting.” They repeated it over and over again, each time getting louder and louder, more vibrant and more intentional in driving home that point. “The atmosphere is shifting.”
It reminded me of my days worshipping back in South Carolina. It reminded me of working those summer camps with LifeWay Christian Resources, CentriKid and M-Fuge. It reminded me of a church that I attended that was just in my backyard, a millennial kind of church that met early Sunday mornings, but had to tear things down because the building belonged to an older congregation, and they simply weren’t having all of those lights and loud drums and guitar equipment in their services. I almost couldn’t even move. It was just too powerful of a moment.
But, I left encouraged! Coming off of the events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia and the clear forewarnings of a potential race war, I needed to hear/see something to lift my spirits. Those words that were sung still vibrate in the back of my mind even now. The atmosphere is shifting towards awareness, higher consciousness and a deeper understanding of life. “The atmosphere is shifting.” “The atmosphere is shifting.” “The atmosphere is shifting.” “The atmosphere is shifting.”
Indeed! Let it be so. The atmosphere is shifting.