People You Should Know

I had an interesting discussion on Twitter with @JWWalls a week ago regarding this tweet:

I have never been comfortable taking pictures with or getting autographs of “celebrities”. For proof, ask Chris Gandy how awkward I behaved when meeting all the guys from Toad the Wet Sprocket. For lack of a better term I am socially retarded when it comes to knowing what to say or simply how to behave. The burden of “knowing” them collides with them not “knowing” me and it is all down hill from there.

This sentiment comes from a place through which the person is seen not by what they do but who they are at ground level: another pilgrim.

For years I have preached that everyone has a story that deserves to be told. Over the past few months I have spoken with three people who I feel have lives which are inspirational and deserving of recognition. They are not soldiers returning from battle, civil servants risking their lives on a daily basis nor are they performing on a stage both grand and bright. Rather they are people who fail to allow fear to impose its will upon them. My hope is that through you will see a simple strength to Be.

I have complete faith there will be more stories to tell beyond these three, but until then look for pieces on Philip Hughes, Chris Gandy and Neil Griffin.


Garbage Day

Over the past three days I attended two showings of a musical called Back in the Boondocks. It was put on by the CrossRoad UMC Arts Academy. The premise of the story is that of a family living in Louisiana. It details their struggles with relationships, alcoholism, friendship, death and faith. Musically the backdrop is solely Country with songs by the likes of Miranda Lambert (Kerosene), Joe Nichols (The Shape I’m In), The Band Perry (If I Die Young), Craig Morgan (Bonfire) and Little Big Town (Boondocks).

As someone who is not a big Country Music fan (yet I feel I am becoming a very selective one as each day passes), and a seasoned agnostic, the existential message disclosed by the production was something to which anyone could relate. For me it was summed up simply as this: we should not be looking for happiness, we should be looking for peace. This production was sharing how that could be found in Christianity and the crowds who I saw it with grasped that to thunderous applause. I saw the message as expanding beyond any one faith or belief system. Encountering, as well all surely have, individuals who do not hold the same life view as we and he who are at peace it serves not to remind us that we are necessarily wrong in our beliefs but that maybe we have gotten a bit off track.

There is one character who loses her farm after her brother signs it over to her seemingly ex-husband in good faith. Then there is that same brother who struggles with returning to Nashville in an effort to revive a successful singing career which he walked away from when his wife died in a tour bus accident. Amidst the messages of forgiveness and repentance I was more hit by the problem of attachment. Of holding on too tightly to something for fear of being without it. Such a crime assumes that beyond the now is not any better. How can we be so arrogant and naive?

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