I arrived at the less popular coffee house and began to set up. At that time there were only two people present beside me. They were the owner and his assistant. The situation stood this way till five minutes before the start time. Then one other person arrived as a member of the audience. The owner looked at me and said, "Ok, Ray, are you ready to start?" The worst part was, he wasn't joking. I had so many thoughts running through my head. Why did I agree to sing here? Why is the owner making me sing to one person? I could be at that other place right now. I tried my best to quiet down those thoughts and concentrate on singing.
I went through a full set of songs, and felt like an idiot during most of it. I had played for small crowds before, but it is truly awkward to play for one person. Then, towards the end of the set, something happened. I shared a testimony about an original song called "My Father." As I sang the song, I noticed the man in the audience began to cry. That wasn't supposed to be the last song in the set, but it turned out that way. The man came up to me at the end of the song and began to share his story. His father had just passed away. Shortly after, his wife left him and took their house. He too was a musician with a home recording studio. Most of his equipment was in storage, and he was living in a small apartment. He was at a point in his life where he felt like God had abandoned him. He explained, though, that he experienced an overwhelming sense of God's love while I was singing my song. This is what caused him to cry. I prayed with him, and the night ended shortly after.
On the ride home God barraged me with thoughts about what had happened. Thoughts like, "Quality is more important than quantity" and the parable of the lost sheep. I realized that God orchestrated it for me to be singing at that coffee house on that night in order to minister to that man. He caused the last minute cancellation and prompted the owner to call me. He put it on my heart to sing "My Father" at that point in the set. He cared enough about that man to do all that, and He chose to do it through me. I didn't receive much praise or affirmation that night, but it didn't matter. I was on cloud nine just for being used by God in such an incredible way.
The story doesn't end there though. I was singing in a different coffee house about a year later. This night there was a good crowd. I was coming to the end of the set and decided to sing "My Father" to wrap things up. Instead of my usual testimony about writing the song, I felt lead to share the story about the night when I sang to one person. I encouraged people to use the moment to enter into an intimate time of worship and fellowship with God. At the end of the song something amazing happened. A man stood up in the back of the room. He identified himself as the same man from my one-person concert. He testified about how God brought restoration to his life after that concert. Then he introduced the woman next to him as his wife. He explained that God restored their marriage. I was so excited after that concert that I couldn't fall asleep. Now God had orchestrated for that man to be at my concert, just to show me the fruit of my ministry.