There were two of them this weekend in Fort Myers, Florida. Two concerts. I was more than usually excited since I sang only one concert in January. Saturday night the theme of the show was connected to that strange day in February when couples try to make up for all the little love gifts they haven't given for months. There were two sets of stories that night for which I built songs. The first set focused on the question , "When did you know you were loved?" and the second, "When did love mean giving up something?"
Sunday's concert was a celebration of sacred spaces and places. I asked people again two different questions. The first was this; "If you could stop time when you were at a particular place and stay there for a very long time, where would that place be?" The other question was; "What places have represented a challenge for you in your life? "
The stories were most revealing and touching. I particularly treasure a story told to me in the concert by a minister who spoke of a church where he pastored after the building had been burned by an arson. He told us that hard as he tried, he could not find a way to bring the church back to any kind of wholeness and forward moving direction. He left in frustration. I really don't think that most people understand how hard a pastor's job is. This is particularly relevant because I am going to San Diego today to be a part of a National Pastor's Conference and there will be lots of burned out pastors there who need rest, comfort, renewal, and hope again.
(By the way, if you know a pastor who works very hard and needs some support, you might order a copy of one of our brand new custom CDs titled, Oasis. . .Songs for the Pastor's Soul. It is a collection of songs designed to remind ministers how important they are, that they are in the hands of the One who cares infinitely, and that their call is a holy one. There is comfort, hope, a little irreverence, and an invitation to take it less seriously and then more seriously. Even if she-he- doesn't like the music the gift will be appreciated. )
I'll write more from San Diego.