Most times, I indulge in a process I call a “parallel didactic.” My parallel didactics attempt to tell two stories at the same time and do both of them justice. The truth is, I got a little ADHD and can’t stay on one subject. So this is a two-tracked story about a song and the phenomenal woman who introduced me to it.
Chadney Christle, for lack of a more lucid term, is a beast. She is a rare combination of vocals, verve, and virtue that culminates in the purest form of musical performance and worship.
Now I admit that I have a penchant for full-figured women with broad smiles and strong lungs. Chadney fits my fancy! She can rattle that raspy refined contral to like Lela Hathaway. However, she can utter the dulcet tones and croon like Kim Burrell. Chadney can go satin or sackcloth, but she will “go in.”
She is a well-rounded musician who can traverse more than a couple of instruments and can blend and balance her own back- ground vocals. If Prince Rogers Nelson had a sidekick, her name would be Chadney.
Miss Christle sang BGV’s (that’s background vocals for you ushers and missionary leaders) with Kim Washington of Desoto and George Huff of American Idol fame for Jennifer Hudson. Their performance on “The Jeffersons” remake featuring Jamie Foxx landed Emmy awards for each of them.
As a lifelong Baptist, who learned to crawl in my grandfather’s parsonage, I appreciate her Church of God In Christ roots. COGIC was generally misunderstood by the “mainstream Black Church.” However, no one can deny their passion for ministry, praise and worship.
The same holy dance, tambourine beating, and loud hallelujahs Baptists used to scoff at is now considered “good church.” Chadney brings the fire with a “Holy Ghost” anointing and earnest spirit that goes past performance to prophetic postulation. In other words, it ain’t just a show; she sings a gospel that she know (sic)
May your struggles keep you near the cross
And may your troubles show that you need God
And may your battles end the way they should
And may your bad days prove that God is good
And may your whole life prove that God is good
-“God is Good”, by Jonathan McReynolds
When she presented us with this worship song, “God is Good,” it beckoned me to look deeper. Worship music ought to make you look into your own soul. This song did.
The late Dr. Manuel L. Scott Sr., former pastor of the Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, was famous for his sayings and admonitions. For example, he would often warn us to be careful “because every man and woman is carrying a heavy load.”
He said that before COVID-19, and it would serve us to remember that as we walk among one another. We have witnessed more deaths, sudden deaths, and early deaths than we have ever imagined.
Between this pandemic and the usual march of what my grandmother called “The Death Angel,” most of us are devastated whether we realize it or not.
This song, prayer, doxology speaks to God being in the midst of our struggles, troubles, and battles. Moreover, it teaches us to hold fast to our faith. “May your bad days prove that God is Good.” That was a sermon for me and maybe for some others.
Chadney and I spoke about it and agreed that the last stanza took a turn that must not be missed or glossed over. “Let your whole life prove that God is good!”
The first four stanzas are all about personal hardships. The last one points to your obituary. “Let your whole life prove that God is good!” The last caveat is satisfied by the goodness and blessings we bestow on others. The two-minute song seems simple enough, but it is more profound and paradoxical than most can truly fathom.
This “parallel didactic” was me- ant to bring both Chadney and this song to your attention. It was designed to help you appreciate God, even in your worst times. God has been good to me, Chadney and to you! #imbouttoshout
Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.