CCM: What is your perspective on race relations today?
LH: Because of my musical style, I have widespread appeal to both white and black audiences. That’s not something I set out to do, but I believe God stationed me there. I consider the opportunities I have had to bring racial integration into the gospel music world as part of God’s call on my life. I used to say in concerts that when it comes to human beings, God is as color blind as He can be. But like many people of color, discrimination was, and often still is, a part of my daily life. And I, along with many others, will always confront racial issues with the love and compassion my faith demands. It is my hope that those of us who are called by the name of Christ will be in the forefront of stamping out the notion that no person, regardless of race, creed or color, is better than another. We are still very much in process as we work toward doing what Dr. Martin Luther King set out as a goal—that we measure people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
CCM: You also reveal a moment when you temporarily lost your ability to sing. What emotions did you experience throughout that entire process of losing and restoring your voice?
LH: First, anger. Anger at God, I guess. After all, I believed I was using the gift He gave me to honor Him. Then I experienced fear because none of the doctors could give me any assurance that I would be able to sing again. Then I experienced depression and feeling sorry for my circumstances. But later, I found a sense of peace. During the many months of writing notes, speaking only when absolutely necessary, I lived in the Bible. I read and meditated on verse after verse, chapter after chapter. “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.” Mitzy and I had financial obligations, but we watched as God provided and we never missed any payments. As a drummer, I played wherever I could play, and she went back to teaching. But then came the realization that God’s gifts are good and perfect and that my vocal issues were not His making. Trust was the final step for me. I now know that trust was the issue all along in this journey. I was finally at the point where I could say, “God, my trust is in you. I know that I am to serve you no matter what, and you’ll make a way for me to do just that. So, if it is your will that I not sing anymore, you must have something awfully good coming.”
CCM: What accomplishments are you most proud of within gospel and Christian music?
LH: Like many of my peers, I am thankful that God chose long ago to use music to break down those barriers of the heart that keep us from hearing what “Thus saith the Lord.” In a number of battles in the Old Testament, the singers and musicians led the charge. Music can sometimes penetrate hearts when words alone do not suffice. I hope that my musical offerings over the years have been part of creating such an opportunity for the Gospel.
LH: When I am invited to participate in any kind of event, I have been surprised that I have not been asked to be someone other than the Christian that I am. I guess after all these years, people have figured out that it is a given what and who I will be singing about.
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