This week, one of my favorite people is coming to Fort Wayne. About a year ago, I emailed Andrew Peterson to get advice on how to make We Carry Kevan happen (long before we were calling it We Carry Kevan). His response was ridiculous -- he was elated by the idea of the trip and offered to do anything he could to help. So when we had lunch a few months ago, he asked what he could do and I couldn't help myself. A benefit show? I am thrilled to have him involved, and not just as a great musician but as a friend and mentor.
In light of his visit, I thought of regaling you with various memories I have with Andrew's music, his books, and himself. But I realize that would be a biography of my past 15 years, and this is a blog, not a novel. So let's just look at the broad strokes, shall we?
I remember when my youth pastor first gave me Andrew's CD in 9th or 10th grade. I took it home and listened to it in my parents' den, staring at the black and white album cover. In one of the songs, he said, "I realize that falling down ain't graceful, but I know that falling's full of grace," and that was a comfort to my sin fraught heart. In another, he confessed, "I've got oceans down inside of me," and man, could I relate! But here is the thing with Andrew that is dear to me -- plenty of folks will confess their brokenness, but that line of his goes on. "I can feel the billows roll with a mercy that comes thundering over the waters of my soul."
You see, my insides are a hurricane, loud and violent. And in his music and books, over the years, Andrew has come alongside me and spoken clearly into that chaos. He's reminded me again and again of what's true -- that God is good and His love endures forever; that everything will be made right in the end; and that "the joy in the journey is enough to make a grown man cry." And it's been wonderful to have this experience with him as a friend in more recent years. I have been blessed with some amazing men of God in my life who've given me wisdom, comfort, and guidance, so I don't want to place Andrew on a pedestal (he'd hate that). But we all need beacons in our storms of life, and I am thankful and honored to count him among mine.
If Andrew Peterson is a new name to you, check out his music and novels at The Rabbit Room.