Doyle Dykes is a guitar picker. He plays the Opry and churches and designs guitars. He is a serious Follower. I am being fed by his playing and his book The Lights of Marfa, (Moody 2010). Doyle worked with the Stamps Quartet for a short time, and was invited to play with the Elvis show. He is a Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) guy. He worked with Chet Atkins and every top drawer guitar picker known to man.
He was scheduled to play at the Grand Ole Opry as a soloist. There was a buzz in Nashville about his playing and many musicians were attending to hear him. He prayed with daughters just before he went on stage:
“We ask you to fill the House with Your Presence tonight with my guitar. I ask You to minister to Your people.”
He told the crowd, “I found out that if I minister to Him, He’ll minister to His people.”
Everything seemed normal as he began to play, but going into the second verse of How Great Thou Art everything fell apart. He had restrung his guitar that afternoon and installed a new pickup system.
Mr. Dykes says it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. He was totally embarrassed and devastated. He knew he would never play the Opry again. He just wanted to escape. (I know that feeling and it is terrible—regardless the size of crowd.)
When he finished, Billy Walker came out and hugged him and said to the crowd, “Have you ever heard anything like that?” Doyle wanted to apologize that it had to come from him. Dykes just knew they were feeling sorry for him and trying to make it better for him. Then Bob Whittaker, the Opry Manager took him by the arm and led him back out on stage—center of the spotlite—and asked for another applause for the picker. When he got off stage on the verge of total humiliation, Jeannie Seely grabbed him and with tears told him how his playing had touched her.
When he escaped to the van, his daughters were exclaiming, “Wow Dad, that’s the best you’ve ever done.” Then his wife told him what she had experienced. His daughter said, “Dad, He did what we asked Him to do…He filled the House with His Presence.”
“Then it hit me…. I was so completely engulfed in my own self-motivation and self-promotion, I missed the whole event! None of this was about me. God showed up and people responded.”
Doyle said he examined the guitar and the strings were not installed correctly. He did not sleep well. He needed an answer to what had happened at the Opry. The family had a church concert the next morning. As he drove to church, he said, “Lord, nothing like this has ever happened to me before…if you’re trying to tell me something, I’m listening.”
The picker says “I don’t use the phase very often that ‘God spoke to me,’ but that morning, without a doubt—He did!” He played “How Great Thou Art.” God said to him:
“Son…My greatness…Does Not Depend…on YOURS!”