Artist Devo: Blind (Bobby Bishop)
Published on June 30, 2010
I was in Nashville, at GMA in 2006, and it was a whirlwind. Preparing for a re-release of my record under a new distributor should have been the focus, however, bigger burdens weighed me down. My voice was as worse as it had ever been. Two years previous, an otolaryngologist had informed me that my career was likely going to end, just as I was picking up steam. He told me that one of my vocal chords was paralyzed, and not by my own doing. A virus had likely been the culprit, and the result was a lazy vocal chord, with the other chord doing its best to compensate. I was losing my voice nearly every time I performed.
In addition to this struggle, I had made a horrible, horrible mistake regarding my management. I had been referred to this individual by some other industry people who reportedly trusted him. He talked a great talk, and over the course of a month I had hired him. Several peers warned me that he was no-good, but I ignored their advice and convinced myself he had my best interest in mind. Over the phone, he was a complete charmer, and I was vulnerable. Having a national record with no management in place left me vulnerable, and he knew it. Each day he called me with reports of meetings, phone conferences, and other correspondence he was working on my behalf. He had painted a picture of excellence with a focus on Jesus. Yes, he even knew how to “talk Jesus.” I bought it, until I visited him. In person, I discovered that he had no apartment of his own, didn’t attend church, smoked heavily, and slept in each morning until his mother woke him up. No judgment here, just not the picture he’d painted. I soon realized his daily “grunt work” reports were fabricated, which became more and more obvious when none of his “contacts” ever seemed to follow through. He lied to people about me, and he searched for weakness in order to “store ammunition in his cache” in case things turned sour. And did they ever! Despite my proof of his inability to tell the truth, and my appropriate confrontations (including an intervention along with his loved ones), he wouldn’t budge.
Walking through the Renaissance Hotel lobby, I should have been meeting and greeting. Instead, I was a wreck. My voice was not functioning properly, and my manager had to be let go. Out of nowhere, my great friend, Darren (now one of my producers and label-mate) informed me that a lady was looking for me. I had already conducted most of my interviews, so I wasn’t sure who could be looking for me. It turned out, she simply wanted to pray.
I’m not one to sensationalize, but this was remarkable. In the midst of industry and personal mayhem, someone simply wanted a word of prayer. I brought Darren with me, of course (he and I had never met this woman), and followed the woman to corner of the lobby. She looked me in the eye and said, “God put you on my heart. You have a partnership that is causing you distress because you are unequally yoked. End it today. Now let’s pray for your voice.” I almost fell over, as I looked accusingly at Darren, who just shrugged his shoulders and said, “let’s pray.”
God meets us where we need to be met, doesn’t He? In John 9, Jesus approaches a blind man, spits on the ground to make mud, and heals the man’s eyes. He rejects the Pharisees’ teaching that he was blind due to his own sin, but rather that God’s purposes were being fulfilled through his blindness and healing: “…but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3 NIV).
I want to encourage us all to recognize that God is here. We may be uncomfortable at times, and we may not always understand what He’s doing, but His purposes are grander. His work in our lives needs to be our primary focus, in the midst of every circumstance we face. Amen.