Wednesday, March 11, 2009

houses and fields, brothers and sisters everywhere

I had finally figured out a train schedule that would work for that elusive jaunt from Washington DC (where I was leading worship in the morning) to Lancaster PA (where I was doing a concert in the evening). The train schedules have worked remarkably well this whole tour... except for this one day... these two cities looked so close on the map and - “well, it’s the east coast, I’m sure there’ll be lots of options”...


So I called on Sunday morning, just to confirm with the Lancaster folks that my train was scheduled to arrive at 5:55... and I was really REALLY hoping it would be on time so I could make it for the 7:00 concert... It was definitely too close for comfort, but I didn’t see any other option...

“Oh... but the concert is at 6:00.”


So off we went to the morning service, and I still didn’t know how I was going to make it to my evening performance... maybe I could take the train to Philly and rent a car from there (if I could find someplace open on a Sunday afternoon)...

As I was wolfing down a smallish portion of the delicious potluck spread after the service (in time to catch that train to Philly), Eric came over and said “Bryan, I’d like to drive you to Lancaster.”

I nearly choked on my pasta. “Really? You would do that?”

This past month of touring has been a miracle of generosity from start to finish. To each family who shared their home and their dinner table, to each person who gave part of their day (sometimes a large part) to get me to where I needed to go, to each one who planned and organized and put up posters, to each one who set up and ran sound, to each one who sang and smiled, to each one who prayed and supported in ways seen and unseen, I am so deeply grateful.

As this tour concludes (I'm writing this at the border stop at Niagara Falls, waiting to begin the last leg of the journey home), I feel like I have experienced Mark 10:29-30 again, and again, and again:

“Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age - houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions - and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

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