Tonight, Layla, Jon and I went to a Michael Card concert. I was excited about this for two main reasons:
1. I love his music. My friend Judy (now with the Lord) introduced me to his music and many CDs I have of his music were gifts from her.
2. The words of his songs speak to me so much in so many ways. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying his song about Job.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed. It was a great concert. It was a really nice concert with a lot of his new music. Encouraging, and ending with a song about our blessed hope, the return of our savior, and the new heaven and new earth.
During the concert he also sang the song El Shaddai. Ever since I lived in Israel I had trouble with that song, mainly because when I was in my youth group long ago, we had a long discussion about it, trying to figure out what was meant by the words “El kon cona” when none of the Israelis could figure out no matter how we tried.
At the end of the concert, Layla said, “I have to talk to him. Everyone asks me what those words are, and he can tell me.” Well, with the agreement of two witnesses on the same thing, we went in search of someone who could help us find Michael Card and ask, what did you really mean in that one verse.
El Shaddai, we knew is God all sufficient
El Elyon, we knew was God most high
But what was “El kon cona”?
Of course we also explained to him that we had lived in Israel and etc. etc. Michael was really nice and explained that the words were taken from Psalm 18:1 (or 2 in Hebrew): “Er chamcha” (gutteral ch with emphasis on last syllable”), translated in the American Standard Version as “I love you.”
He told us that a lot of people had asked about it and the problem in pronunciation went back to when Amy Grant first sang it. (He had written the song, but it was Amy Grant who made it famous.) Seems he gave her the words over the phone… hence the mispronounciation. So now you can all sing the song “El Shaddai” and remember it is “Erchamcha” and not “El kon cona.”
It all made me smile as I also though of my friend Judy. If she was still here, I know she would have laughed at Layla’s and my “hutzpa”. Thinking that made me smile, I’m sure she is laughing and smiling at a lot more than Layla and I bugging Michael Card about the words of his song… but it was special. Hope you all smile as well.