And I love to watch you listen to the music
because you sing to me a music of your own
as I cast out all these lines
so afraid that I will find I am alone, all alone
(Andrew Peterson, 'Many Roads')
Some listen for good guitar riffs, others pick out great lines, lyrics that are poetry. Some need perfect vocals, while others feel at home when he forgets the lines to his own songs.
Even from the back of the room - a room without much character, color, warmth - we were there, we were on our way to Alaska, just weeks away from cancer's sweep of death, fishing poles tied up in the back with our beloved in the front seat, by our side until the end of the road. We knew the beauty and sometimes-perceived-defeat of marriage, dancing in fields of land mines; we imagined the despair of Hosea's calling after his unfaithful wife.
Was it just the good storytelling? Could anyone have told the same stories, taken us on the same journey? Or was it the humanness of our Brother who did, indeed, forget the lines to his own song, only to catch the lyrics in his inner ear monitor (thanks to his road manager) just in time to keep us on our toes, but still please our ears.
Did we come for perfection? Or did we come to be included in the story, to be given glimpses of life lived, put to a melody?
Before we ended this sweet night, we filled up the room:
After the last tear falls...
there is love; love, love, love...
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
were caught in the palms
of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
and we'll look back on these tears as old tales.
(AP, "After the last tear falls")