We all shuffled in quietly, finding the closest open seat next to someone we felt familiar with. The motely blend of chairs, stools and couches matched the people that were coming in, all different but fitting together somehow. After ten minutes of people continuing to trickle in went by, finally a chord was struck. As the guitar started playing, we all breathed a sigh of relief that the hushed silence was over.
As the guitar was strummed and voices hummed and sang along, we all felt the definitive presence in the room with us. I sat in reverence at the cacophony of voices that meshed together when singing. It was freeing to sing whatever and whenever along with the song that was being sung.
Northwestern’s new acoustic worship night is one that no one should miss. As a junior, I am used to praise and worship on Sunday nights and the normal Tuesday and Friday chapel worship. But, there is nothing I have been to at NW in my two and a half years that can match the beauty of acoustic worship in the basement of Ramaker. The atmosphere was palpable. Everyone could feel God in the room.
But the part that floored me was the difference in worship style. The night started with one voice leading the rest of us in a well-known song accompanied by guitar. Then the song changed to one most of us were unfamiliar with. The two other worship leaders started singing riffs and praises to the Lord alongside what the main vocalist was singing. We followed in turn. Some people sang with the song lyrics, while others added to the symphony.
In between songs, people were allowed to pray out loud on behalf of the group or to share a Bible passage they felt led to share. I know I was not the only one to resonate with many of the prayers and scriptures. This pattern of song and prayer continued for the full hour until we had to close due to time constraints. If possible, I know I would have stayed there for hours longer.
Acoustic worship was an open space to be with others while praising God with no fear of singing the wrong note or chord or lyric. Everyone contributed and blended, no matter what key they were in. I am not saying that praise and worship does not allow this sort of atmosphere, trust me I have felt it there, but there is a different feeling entirely to hear what acoustic worship sounds like. Though there were only 20 or so of us, it sounded like what I think heaven would sound like.
So, no matter how far along you are in your faith, whether nonexistent or thriving, this is the place for you. Whether you can sing or not, this is the place for you. This is the place for you, whether you know it yet or not. If you can carve out the time in your busy college schedule, go. You will not be disappointed.