I believe that God puts people in our lives when and where we need them. I just received an email from Derrick Horne that reminded me of the story about when God put Derrick in my life when I needed him to be there. I was originally just going to post this story separately, as an individual article, but now that I’ve begun writing it, I just realized that it really belongs as part of my Life Builders series. Even though I don’t know Derrick nearly as well as I do the other people I have been writing about, God did put him in my life to lift me up when I was down. And for that, I think it is right to include Derrick in my Life Builders series.
In mid November of 2004, my ex-wife handed me an unfinished note explaining to me all the reasons why she was leaving me. I later learned that those reasons were bogus and that she was actually leaving me for another man. But not knowing that, to read a list of all of my failures as a husband was as if she had stuck a knife in my gut and was twisting it. I think she was trying to make it easier for me? Or easier for her? She didn’t want me to know there was another guy so she fabricated this list and when I read it, I crashed to the lowest point of my entire life.
Only a few days later I got a call for a recording session from Kelly Dean. Kelly, Ed Lowe and I have been doing recording projects together for decades now. When Kelly calls us, he doesn’t always tell us what we are recording. Because the three of us are so versatile, it’s good enough for us just to know where the session is and what time to be there.
When I arrived at the studio I met Derrick for the first time. I think Kelly had worked with him before and was going on about how awesome Derrick was as a musician. Not only does Derrick play keys, guitar and bass, and sings, but he is incredibly funky at all of it. But still, I didn’t know what we were recording. I knew we were recording some of his tunes, but nothing prepared me for what was about to happen.
I remember that, by that time, I had gone at least several days without eating or sleeping. I was feeling weak, but I couldn’t eat. I remember taking a bottle of water with me into the studio. I sat it down next to my chair and setup my equipment. Then I waited for us to begin recording. I don’t think I was “hanging out” with the guys the way I normally would before a recording session begins. Obviously, I was dealing with issues and wasn’t feeling very social.
When the music started in my headphones, the first thing I thought was how right Kelly was. This was a really funky recording. But when the vocals started, I recognized that the lyrics were Christian. I think at first I felt like I was dreaming. When you don’t sleep, it’s easy to get your thoughts and your daydreams mixed up with what’s really going on around you. But in that moment of clarity, when I finally realized that we were recording a gospel CD, it was all I could do to keep the tears from streaming down my face. I stopped playing but kept the horn up to my face to cover up for the fact that tears were welling up in my eyes.
Fortunately that first time through was not a keeper anyway, so it didn’t matter that I didn’t play half of the music.
I didn’t tell anyone until later what had happened to me that morning in the studio. Kelly, Ed and I have recorded several things for Derrick since then and I had an opportunity to tell them in a later session what happened to me that morning. Basically that recording session was God telling me that everything was going to be okay. There was a sense of calm that came over me after that first song. I felt a peace about the upcoming divorce that I hadn’t felt before that. I was soon able to eat again (the insomnia continued for a few months) and everything was okay.
There is a real message in this story. I recently wrote about how no one is capable of “being there” for you the way the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, was there for me, working through Derrick Horne and his music, to help get me through a very difficult time in my life. In one of the tunes on the CD (Spirit Fall on Me) the lyrics say:
Only You my soul refresh
Only You can fill my emptiness
Lord I stand here now
Fall on me
Fall on me
The Holy Spirit is also there for you! I am nobody! I’ve done nothing remarkable to deserve His comfort. But He loves me enough to die for me just as He loves YOU enough to die for YOU. You don’t need to cling in need to other people in this world who are just as needy as you. Cling to Christ Jesus instead.
Thank You Derrick
Thank you Derrick for what you do. Thank you for submitting to the Holy Spirit and honoring God in what you do. May He continue to use you to be a blessing in the lives of the many people you touch.