I have been listening to Lauren Daigle for a long time (in fact, she was in my top five artists of the year on Spotify Wrapped), but for as long as I've been listening, I'd never seen her live. Her concerts are not expensive at $45 for the nosebleeds, so even though it was an hour away on a Tuesday, I bought tickets! A review from a secular concertgoer said that Daigle needed to get new fans because nobody was dancing when they absolutely should have been. Well, she obviously wasn't at the concert in Sacramento because there were plenty of people dancing like no one but the Lord was watching.
The Grammy-winning artist's performance was nothing short of magical, a celebration of life through soul-stirring melodies and uplifting messages that resonated with the entire audience. Her dedication to helping the little orphans of Guatemala was inspiring, and the way she gently shared the gospel with the audience showed just how much she loves both Jesus and people. I don't think her message of God's love and forgiveness could have come at a better time. Little did we know that the night would take an unexpected turn that would force us to confront the fragility of our lives. As Daigle's powerful voice echoed through the arena, and we made our way out of the event center, we were so elated by the high energy and joy of the concert that we didn't realize that the news crews weren't there for the concert.
Stepping outside the venue, we were met with a scene that sent chills down my spine – blood splatter on the ground, marking the aftermath of a fatal stabbing. The contrast between the life-affirming experience inside the venue and the grim reality outside was stark, to say the least.
The large group with me was split between juvenile fascination and somber horror. For myself, I couldn't stop and gawk or stand and reflect. My immediate concern was for the safety of my seven-year-old sister. I wrapped her in my coat and tucked her face into my side so her curiosity wouldn't be met with the traumatic experience of seeing the aftermath of death. She wrapped her arms around me for balance as we walked away from the black barriers and numbered evidence markers.
On the drive home, we discovered that the victim was a twenty-two-year-old homeless man. Weeks later, the police arrested another young homeless man for the crime. Learning that they were not only my age but also grappling with homelessness added an extra layer of sorrow to the already somber atmosphere. It forced me to confront the harsh realities that some individuals face daily, magnifying the disparity between the celebratory moments we experienced inside the concert and the stark challenges these young lives endured outside. The incident became a poignant reminder of persistent societal issues, emphasizing the need for compassion and understanding in the face of adversity, even as we grappled with the shock of the unexpected turn of events.
Lauren Daigle's music, which had filled the air with hope and inspiration, now took on a new significance. Her hope, resilience, and faith resonated in a way I hadn't anticipated. The artist's words about the power of music to bring people together and provide solace in difficult times suddenly felt like a lifeline.