On the Spot


I was proud of Chris’s courage, but could he survive what seemed like a den of lions?

My son, Chris, was in his senior year in high school and was enjoying a fourth year in the choir. He had worked hard, and his voice was very good, yet he had never tried out for the annual high school talent show before. This was the year he decided to try.

Chris said that he had decided to sing “How Great Thou Art.” I knew it was a song very close to his heart. I asked him why he would sing such a spiritual song in that setting. He said that he and his sisters had taken a lot of flack about believing in Jesus Christ. Many people at school and in the choir had accused them of not being real Christians. He felt strongly that this song would help settle the question once and for all that he did believe in and love the Savior.

I was scared for him and said I would support him in whatever he did. After successfully auditioning, Chris was notified that he was to be the last performer out of 18 acts.

On the night of the performance, the crowd went wild over the more extreme acts. Then there came a girl singing a country song. She had a lovely voice, but because the crowd would not calm down, she couldn’t hear her music and got off the beat. The crowd kept whistling and yelling, basically driving her off the stage.

At intermission Chris left the performers’ waiting area and made his way to us at the back of the gym. I wanted to be encouraging, but I also wanted to take him home. He calmly said, “I saw what the crowd did, and went off by myself backstage and prayed. I still feel like I should sing that song. It doesn’t matter whether they like it or not. I will have given my testimony of Christ, and that is why I came.”

I still felt afraid for him. Even though the director of the program had spoken to the crowd about their behavior, there was still a lot of noise. Two acts before Chris was a very popular rap group. They got the crowd going at such a high level we just sat in the middle of the noise and watched. After this group left the stage, about half the kids in the gym got up and left as if the show were over.

The act just before Chris was a blind girl and her friend playing a guitar duet. It changed the feeling and spirit in the gym. It was beautiful and sweet. As Chris moved onto the stage, we all prayed that he would do his best and that somehow it would be a positive experience. As his mother, I felt that I had let my son walk into the lion’s den and only the Lord could save him.

Chris’s music teacher had given him a mouth harp. That was the first sound we heard. Then his voice, sweet and clear, came across the gym to us. I could feel the feelings of love he had for the Savior as he sang all three verses. When he finished, half of the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

We waited around to hear the judges’ results. Chris had told us they usually voted for the group that was most popular with the crowd. Still, we decided to wait and see how things went. Then the judges announced the first-place winner as Christopher Tucker. We were all yelling, jumping up and down, and hugging each other.

What a night! We felt that winning was nice, but the most important thing was seeing the faith that our son had put into action.

Editor’s Note: Christopher is now serving a mission in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh