National recording artist, songwriter and author Babbie Mason told Oklahoma Baptist University students how a cup of lukewarm soup taught her a lesson that changed her life. Mason shared her story and her music during OBU's annual African American Heritage Day chapel Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Raley Chapel.
Born in Jackson, Mich., Mason worked closely for years with her father at the church he founded, beginning her role as church pianist at age 9 and later serving as the music minister. But her growth into an award-winning Christian artist was not without a struggle.
As a music major at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, Mason longed to be a Motown singer. She started to sing in clubs and bars on the weekends, hoping someone in the music business would discover her talent.
"If I could just be in the same room with Aretha and hold her hat, my dream would come true," Mason said. "But God had another plan, a plan to prosper me and not harm me, a plan to give me a hope and a future, according to Jeremiah 29:11."
Mason followed her club gigs with singing in church on Sundays. She said she began to feel an inner tug-of-war.
"I began to compromise my walk with the Lord," she said. "I had too much world for the church, too much church for the world, and I wasn't happy."
During lunch on campus one winter day, Mason bought soup that was served in a Styrofoam cup. A friend stopped by her table to visit, and when the friend left, Mason discovered the soup had grown lukewarm. The oils and grease in the soup coagulated and clung to the Styrofoam and the plastic spoon. The sight sickened Mason.
"As I sat there, having my lunch and trying to get through this lukewarm cup of soup, it was as if the Holy Spirit sat down with me and began to have lunch with me," Mason said. "I didn't have my Bible open, but I had enough of the Word of God in me ... so I recognized this voice. It's a letter written to the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation, 3:15-16.
"It may as well have had my name on it," she said. "It's as if it said, 'Dear Babbie, I know your works, and I know that you're neither hot nor cold, and I wish you were one or the other. Because you're lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I'm about to spew you out of my mouth."
Mason said at that moment she totally surrendered her life to God.
The recipient of two Dove awards and countless other recognition, Mason has produced 15 records and composed songs such as "All Rise" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name." Mason's songs have been performed by artists such as CeCe Winans, Larnelle Harris and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. In addition to her music career, Mason is the author of two books, titled, "Faithlift: Put Wings to Your Faith Walk and Soar" and "Treasures of Heaven in the Stuff on Earth." She teaches songwriting as artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.
"I don't know how you're living, but I pray you'll be fervent in your walk with the Lord," she told students. "I pray God's blessings upon you. I pray you will jump into the deep end of His love for you and His purpose for your life. Don't short-circuit His plan by getting control of your life and destiny, but hand it over to Him."
Mason visited the OBU campus in response to an invitation from her personal friends, International Mission Board personnel Keith and Debra Grimaud. The Grimauds serve as OBU's missionaries-in-residence during their stateside assignment from their full-time roles as IMB missionaries to Paris, France. Mason met the Grimauds while serving as a missions volunteer.