Yesterday was hard. A business deal stalled. I didn’t make much progress on several key projects. I was discouraged. And toward the end of the day, I learned that a friend had died. I just wanted to go home, put on my pajamas, and go to bed.
But I had signed up to attend the Recreate Conference. (What was I thinking?) Last night was the opening night. It was to begin with a mixer, then dinner, and finally a concert. As an introvert, this is not what I enjoy. It takes lot of energy to jump into the midst of a crowded room and be … well … pleasant.
Fortunately, I managed to miss most of the mixer. When Gail and I arrived, we found a few of our close friends and hid in the shadow of their company. Unexpectedly, I had a very pleasant dinner conversation with a few Twitter acquaintances. I began to sense that my mood was shifting. I stopped brooding over my own problems and became immersed in the conversation.
Finally, Amy Grant took the stage. There she was in Puckett’s Grocery in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, a few blocks from my house. Only about 115 of us were in the room. Amy sang with a small band. Acoustic guitar. Informal and without pretense. Just her and her art. A gift. Unexpected. And deeply moving.
I was completely swept up in the moment. I forgot about the day. I stopped worrying about the future. For a few precious hours, I was lost in her music. Overwhelmed by the beauty and the wonder of God’s goodness in giving me this unexpected gift, I teared up several times. This always happen to me in the presence of beauty. It is a clue. Suddenly, things come back into focus.
Meanwhile, as we sat in the restaurant, it had begun to snow outside. This, too, was unexpected—and beautiful. By the time we left, a couple of inches had accumulated.
Gail and I walked home in the quietness of the snow-covered lawns and streets. I could hardly speak. The day that had seemed so hard and so present just a few hours before had vanished. I had been healed and restored by an encounter with an artist and her art—and serendipitously, the Artist and His art. My heart was full, once again surprised by unexpected beauty.