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Guest Interviews

Jason Black

Edited By NA

2065 08/30/09

Jason Black (JB) has performed with several opera companies, including the Los Angeles Opera and the Orange County Opera. His CD, "Phoenix" is available at hourofpower.org. Jason is a walking, talking and singing miracle. Twice in Jason's life, he's come face to face with death and both times, God spared his life. Today, Jason is here to share these miracles. Sheila Schuller Coleman (SSC) interviews Jason.

SSC: My guest today, Jason Black, is a walking, talking, singing miracle. By all accounts, Jason should not be alive today. By all accounts, he should not be talking today. By all accounts, he should not be singing one note today. He is a miracle. God made a miracle of you, Jason, did He not? Come on up and lets tell them the story. Thank you for being here.

JB: Thank you so much for having me.

SSC: Now, there are two instances, two times that God spared your life.

JB: And those are just the ones I know about.

SSC: That's true.

JB: He's been pretty good to me.

SSC: That's true. Tell us about the first one.

JB: I was blessed to be performing at multiple opera companies while I was in college in San Jose, and I was coming back from my final performance of doing "The Duke" in Rigoletto at two o'clock in the morning. So it was pitch black and it was a road with a lot of curves in it. There were no lights and no moon, and somebody decided that they'd park their Dodge Ram in the fast lane with no lights on.

So I found it, and we fought and I lost. The entire engine ended up in my lap. It broke every bone in my left leg..

SSC: Oh my goodness.

JB: ..collapsed my femur into itself like a telescope and broke my left arm. It gave me brain trauma so severe that it perhaps would never heal, and if it would, it would be a matter of years. So they sent me off to a stroke patient home, surrounded by octogenarians to essentially forget about me until anything changed.

SSC: But it did change. God wasn't done with you there.

JB: Thank God, yes, not two years, but two weeks later I was released and eventually got back on stage. I was very blessed to continue to perform. I married a beautiful wife, moved down to Los Angeles, and was under contract with the LA Opera and the Orange County Opera. God continued to bless me.

SSC: So you had this amazing career with your voice.

JB: Like I said, by His grace I keep working.

SSC: For you that was your meal ticket. Your voice was your support for your family, and that was your call, as you saw it, that God gave you this gift. And you were being diligent and faithful and working and then you had a second accident.

JB: Yes that's essentially all I knew how to do. I make the joke that I have two equally useless degrees, one in acting and one in vocal performance.

Well that became that much more poignant when I was moving into my new home and a large six foot by six foot glass table top fell into my neck like a guillotine, literally semi-decapitating me. It went through my body, all the way from my spine to the front of my throat, so kind of like a Pez dispenser, but sideways. It severed both jugular veins, paralyzed my right arm, my right vocal chord and my right diaphragm.

SSC: And I saw the video of you in the emergency room and you were saying to the doctor, "my voice. I'm a singer." You were kind of croaking those words out.

JB: Yes because the first accident was so severe that they had intubated me and thank God they hadn't damaged my vocal chords, but that was my primary concern. It wasn't the fact that I was bleeding to death, but I was afraid they might damage my chords going in.

So it was ironic that even after losing five liters of blood, 45 minutes later I still had what they called audible bleeding, which means you're bleeding so badly it can be heard. So that was the severity of the injury. I was taken to Cedars Sinai, who are among the best in the world. I am thankful that they did their jobs so well, but I awoke to be told ‘hey you're lucky to be alive, we don't even know how it happened; that's a miracle but you're never going to speak again.' I couldn't even whisper.

So to have a new mortgage, a nearly quarter of a million dollar medical bill from Cedars Sinai, a hospital that is marvelous but not cheap, and on top of that have the only way that I have to make a living, like you said, gone, and assured by the best of the best in Beverly Hills that I'll never even whisper again; that's a difficult place to be in.

I don't know how I could possibly have even gone another day without faith, just knowing that our Father keeps us in the palm of His hand and wants to care for us, and thank God Jehovah-Rapha is the healer. So I went a good six months being told and assured by the best of the best that it would never happen but I stood in faith.

SSC: You needed a miracle like so many people today.

JB: Absolutely.

SSC: You needed a miracle. Did you and your wife pray for a miracle?

JB: Yes.

SSC: Did you?

JB: That's putting it mildly, yes, and as we were discussing before, God doesn't just work instant push button miracles, but God works in His own timing. He knows what's best for you at the end of the day and that's why you've got to rest in knowing that He's got your best interest in mind, that He sees the grander scheme of things and He's designed you for such a time as this.

So I just stood in faith because there was nothing else to have. And that hope was fulfilled when God gave my voice back to not only speak again, but I've been blessed to be able to share my testimony. In the bible, John says that the Holy Spirit testifies and that we too must testify.

SSC: Amen.

JB: So I'm just so grateful to the Crystal Cathedral and to the Schuller family for allowing me to continue to just show people that there's nothing bigger than God. By the grace of God, I still own that same home. I didn't have medical insurance, but God took care of every penny of that bill. My voice has obviously been restored, I have a beautiful family; I am blessed to have three children and we're foster adopting a baby. We're just surrounded by blessings and no matter how big you think this problem is and oh this one's bigger than any..

SSC: That's right, nothing is..

JB: ..there's nothing to big for God.

SSC: ..too big for God.

JB: And through Christ, we are more than conquerors, just in His grace. There's nothing that He can't handle.

SSC: Well thank you Jason for being here to remind us of that today, and wait till you hear him sing because you will hear the miracle. Thank you, Jason..

JB: Praise God.

SSC: ..so much..

JB: Thank you so much for having me.

SSC: ..you're going to sing for us now, right?

JB: Absolutely.

SSC: Okay. And I know you're going to want Jason's CD after you hear him sing. It's called "Phoenix." What an appropriate title for this CD. What a miracle. Thank you, Jason.

© Copyright Hour of Power 2009. This interview was conducted by Robert H. Schuller from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral and aired on the Hour of Power August 30, 2009.

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