One of the most gently powerful, profound experiences I’ve ever had as believer for 40 plus years, was during the year or so while attending the Grace Center in Franklin, TN. An ancillary component to their regularly scheduled church services was a cloistered, intimate gathering of several dozen attendees who gathered for Soaking. Soaking consisted of several musicians who engaged in improvisational, mostly instrumental, melodious worship-oriented music. No interruptions. No commentary. No expository.
It was all very Zen. Like a mixture of heavenly yoga with alternative jazz, or sitting in a hot tub with a group of angels. I liked to arrive early so I could claim a spot on the overstuffed couch, equipped with journal and pen. It was all about connection and healing in an atmosphere of chill.
Soaking was originally lead by the husband and wife team of Kimberly and Alberto Rivera. After they moved on, Julie True orchestrated the gathering, joined by a small, loyal accompaniment. In her words, I want to help create an atmosphere where I, and anyone who wants to come along with me, can connect – spirit to spirit – with the Living God.
God has invited me to “infiltrate the earth with sounds of healing,” primarily through music, worship, creative sounds, and prayer. My desire is to share words of scripture, words of hope and encouragement, and words of declaration that spring from a heart that believes God is good, and that He is willing and able to heal us – spirit, soul, and body.
My season at Grace Center was transformational. Several years ago, Soaking ceased to be offered and I stopped attending. However, I have loaded up on Julie’s published albums, in addition to the handful I had acquired from the Riveras. Soaking music has continued to provide me with inspiration and comfort.
In 2012, my brother Jeff (10 years my junior) spent the last few weeks of his life in the palliative care unit at the Veterans Hospital in Nashville, as stage four lung cancer completed its devastation. He had made it clear to me that he had no desire to discuss spiritual matters. Despite his condition, his singular desire was to acquire and indulge in cigarettes. During his final days, he slipped into a coma and became non-communicative.
Without an opportunity to further converse, I brought a CD player into his hospital room, a handful of Julie’s Soaking CDs, some Stevie Ray Vaughan CDs, and instructed the nurses to please play Jeff some music as they chose. I continued to visit, awkwardly chatting at him a bit. I was at a Titans game with a friend when I received the call that he had passed.
After the game, I went to see Jeff for one last time. The attending nurse pulled me aside and told me a remarkable story. She attested to their habit over the preceding week or so of playing Soaking CDs despite Jeff’s apparent non-response. She further conveyed that he surprised her by suddenly awakening and asking for prayer. She quickly grabbed a senior nurse with the reputation of being THE prayer warrior of the ward, and the two prayed for him immediately prior to him slipping from this life and into the next.
I can’t prove it…but I believe something in Julie’s serene, meditative worship music reached his heart in ways words and even a brother’s attending care could not. Julie’s catalog is available to stream online, purchase individual CDs, or acquire as an entire collection. Donate to her ministry.