Beyoncé’s Formation Tour stop last night was plagued with rain and lightning, which at one point caused the show to halt and the venue to be temporarily evacuated (Beyoncé eventually made her way back onstage to conclude her set). This is notable because the show took place in none other than the Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina—a state that has become a hotbed of controversy and ill will in the wake of Governor Pat McCrory passing the effectively anti-trans H2 “bathroom bill.” Was the storm a coincidence or pointed act of God?
If we assume that nothing is a coincidence and that God is hanging on every human’s every word and action so that she can craft an appropriate response via the weather, we must then ask ourselves what caused God to stroll through the clouds wielding a baseball bat. Was it that Beyoncé, unlike fellow musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, and Nick Jonas, went ahead and performed in North Carolina instead of canceling that date in protest? Or was it because yesterday, a message was posted on Beyoncé’s official site that decried H2 and encouraged fans to support Equality NC’s attempt to overturn the hate bill?
The motivation remains unclear. While there is a reasonable argument that not pulling out of North Carolina and serving the people of the state who are impacted by H2 is an act of protest in itself, there’s no explicit mention that Beyoncé employed this tactic in the aforementioned post on her site. The post does acknowledge that it’s coinciding with the Formation stop—“As The Formation World Tour makes its stop in the Tar Heel state in the midst of such a controversial time, we think it is important for us to bring attention to those who are committed to being good and carrying on the message of equality in this core of controversy,” reads the copy—but the whole thing reads more like a caveat than anything else. Keep in mind, too, that when voters in Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston rejected the city’s proposed nondiscrimination bill, dubbed HERO, in November the superstar remained tight-lipped to the chagrin of think-piece writers and college students who asked her to get involved before the bill passed.
God works in mysterious ways, and so does Beyoncé. (In case you confuse them, there’s a title card in Lemonade that reads “God is God and I am not.”) Some of the whys here are less tangible than the whats, but let’s focus on what we have instead of what we don’t. We got some arm-chair activism. We got some music. We got some extreme weather. Through God and Beyoncé, in particular, all things are possible forever and ever amen.