It was hard to go back to work on Monday after taking Ben Shive and Andrew Peterson to the airport. Abrupt return to the mundane simplicities of office life.
I enjoyed being the one driving the van, making sure AP and Ben were always where they needed to be. I enjoyed sharing their conversation. And it wasn’t because I was star-struck or fanatical. I know and appreciate that these guys are real people with real thoughts and concerns, not celebrities to be doted over. I enjoyed helping them because it let me feel a part of something bigger than myself. I believe in the good work that Andy and his friends are doing. I believe their art is making a profound positive impact in the name of God. And it was nice, even just for two days, to be a small part of that.
Andy let me listen to “The Good Confession.” I didn’t even have to ask, didn’t even think to ask to listen; he remembered that I had been part of the choir that sang on the song back in August and he asked if I wanted to hear how it turned out. And I said, “Yeah.”
“Do you know how to use these?” he asked me, holding out the earbud headphones to his iPhone.
“You put them in your ears,” I said. He laughed. He found the song, pushed play, and handed me the iPhone.
I sat and listened; they started to unload the van. When I moved to try to help them, Andy put up his hand, motioning for me to stay.
They had all their bags out to the sidewalk before the song was done, and it was cold outside, so I got out and walked with them into the airport. When the song ended I gave Andy back his iPhone. He asked, “What do you think?”
“It’s amazing,” I said.
What I didn’t have a chance or the words to say was that I’d gotten goosebumps all up and down both my arms. Though I’ve only heard the song on two occasions now and haven’t spent any time alone with it to ponder and let it sink deep, I know this song is powerful. It’s meaningful to me, and I know it will be meaningful for a lot of other people.
This week I’ve been listening to an audio book. This is something I don’t normally do. I’m more visual when it comes to reading than I am auditory. (Which is strange to me considering my great love for music.) But I made an exception because of the book: Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far by Amy Grant.
I’ve had the printed copy of the book on my shelf for many weeks, but I hadn’t read it yet. I’d picked it up a few times, skimmed some chapters, but hadn’t been compelled to take the time to read it. Then last week it occurred to me that there was an audio book available. On Amazon, of course.
There’s some quality I hear in Amy Grant’s voice; it’s hard to describe, but it draws me in. It’s a similar quality that I see in Andrew Peterson’s eyes, when he sees me and remembers who I am, remembers my name. A genuine kindness. A softness. A wisdom. It’s a quality of slowness, taking your time to really care about a person, taking your time to invest. It’s why I enjoyed my time with AP this week, and it’s why I’ve been enjoying listening to Amy’s audio book this week.
Even for those of you who don’t enjoy Amy Grant’s music and who aren’t as fanatical about her as I have proven to be sometimes, I recommend this book to you. The audio book. There’s something about hearing her tell these stories, hearing her voice, that’s . . . good, powerful, worth your time. She shares wisdom I didn’t expect, about how to make a habit of giving, how to greet God every morning (and not with a devotional book or Bible), how to sort through this mess of life. And she’s a good storyteller. She shares stories from her life experiences with depression, loss, grief, stories about family members and famous people and people she’s met on the streets. By hearing her words spoken by her voice, you can hear her inflections and pausing and grasp more of the meaning behind what she is saying, her truth.