Sometimes 24 hours can feel like a cold glass of water on a hot summers day.
For instance, before we arrived in Nashville, TN, Sylvia (our traveler from Green Bay, WI) mentioned that she knew a family in town and a few texts later we were invited over for a home cooked meal. We made our way to the far east side of town to the Young family home. Steve, his wife Laura, daughter Audrey, and a few other young people all welcomed us. They shared their love for music and how they were in Mexico on mission for 15 years and how they transitioned 4 years ago to Nashville. Later Steve brought out the guitars and we all had a go round. Rhys (our traveler from Australia) especially shocked everyone with a fantastic song, offering us all a chance to chant along with him as he “Oh oh oh oh oh’d.”
The next day, we wanted to offer our fellow travelers a taste of the local fare, so Jeni’s Ice cream was a top priority, then later we would head downtown for “Live on the Green,” a free concert featuring the band, Head and the Heart. We arrived at Jeni’s and made for the counter to try all of the exotic flavors, things like; Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Wild Berry Lavender and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries. You really can’t go wrong with any flavor but the best part of going to Jeni’s is the tasting before you commit. All six of us were dominating the counter and I glanced over and saw a couple waiting patiently. I invited them to get in on the tasting and soon after they were requesting Jeni’s unique flavors. At one point, I asked the lady how her “Black Coffee” sample tasted. She took a lick, smiled, said it was fantastic and handed it to me to taste. At first, I hesitated as she had licked the spoon just prior but then I shrugged my shoulders and took the spoon from her hand and I ate it. It tasted great but I was so curious about the interaction. It felt right, like family but she was a total stranger. She smiled and went back to tasting. I convinced her to get the Bangkok Peanut and she and her husband sat down.
We finished ordering and when it came time to find a seat Craig and I naturally sat down by our new friends, Phil and Dawn. Within moments we were sharing in community. Phil had on a shirt with the “Mercy Ships” logo. We recognized it and began to ask him about his time with them. They spoke the same language as we did about life, faith and love. Our conversation probably only lasted about 30 minutes but the words of encouragement and understanding will last us a life time. We sent them off with CD’s and quoted my Papa letting them know we’d see them again, ‘Here, There or in the Air.’ Later that evening, Dawn wrote an e-mail with an affirmation of financial blessing which totally caught us off guard. She also told us of a group called Provision International and Thunder School who were living intentionally, serving the poor and sharing music in Nashville. She mentioned that they were serving a meal and we should go down and meet the community.
We were curious and decided to visit on our way down to the concert. We arrived and the students welcomed us, inviting us to sit in and enjoy the meal, meet the locals and serve alongside them. In a city where so many are struggling to make a name for themselves, it was a delight to see kinfolk committed to caring for their neighbors, meeting both physical and spiritual needs.
Eventually, we ended up making our way down to the concert which was jam-packed with about 20,000 people in the court-yard area. The band was lovely but the highlight of the night was sitting and sharing a moment with one of our Nashville/muso friends, Lauryn Peacock. We met Lauryn at Cornerstone Music festival in 2011 and have found kinship with her ever since. She is a compassionate, creative, thoughtful and beautiful woman. She is the kind of person you could sit by a campfire for hours with, solving all of the problems of the world and every time we see her we are encouraged.
If we could we would live outside of the time and space continuum. We would see no beginning and no end. Meaning that every mile we have traveled would have significance not because of the distance but because it leads us back to you. By eliminating time as a factor in friendship we would view every human being as our closest friend and love them like a brother/sister. It’s probably a little esoteric and nearly impossible but we carry a glimpse of this ideal into our everyday life and by doing so experience the most beautiful and divine interactions. I suppose time and space have its place in this world under heaven. However, for us it really only emphasis all the ways that we are connected in the span of a 24 hour period, minds blown!