Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One Memory Leads to Another

"I remember every name and every face
and every roadtrip that we ever made..."
("Who I Am" by Abbye West Pates)

There's a small town somewhere in Louisiana with a church named Bedico - Bedico Baptist Church. And in my memory, I see this church, the guitars we pulled out of our cases, the brownies we ate, the face of the friends who graciously brought me along on the journey.

I was 18, a freshman in college. Though I played guitar and had a full collection of youth group worship songs, I didn't call myself a worship leader. But I did tag along, guitar in tow. It was the blue one, the guitar my parents bought as my Christmas present just a year before.

And they let me sing; I loved to sing.

Jeremy was the worship leader. I sang some harmonies and strummed along, unimpressively I'm sure. It was a good weekend, this I remember. I was so young, too inexperienced to have contributed in any significant way, I think.

Why is the memory so vivid tonight?


I threw this baseball tee on tonight: "Follow Jesus," it says, Bedico Baptist Student Ministry on the back. A church fellowship hall (or "family life center," if you're Baptist) came to mind, pieces of memory.

But wait - this church isn't Bedico; I know this one. I hopped in a different car, ready for another adventure. This time with friends more familiar, those summer friends who ushered me out of high school, into adulthood.

Yes, on that trip I didn't pull out my guitar; I just watched, sang along. And I  knew why I tagged along this time: a boy. There's a picture to prove it, on the stage, practicing before the show. I'm standing with him, leaning into him.

It's so obvious I liked him; maybe I loved him. In the picture, I'm wearing his sweatshirt. Swooning, I'm sure.

Funny, this one shirt I'm wearing, tucked away for the Summer, reappearing for Autumn, has swept me back there, back to 18 years old. The memories - they're all smashing together. But they remind me of life; indeed, of life well lived.


On the other side of the neighborhood, that blue guitar is sitting in the corner of my best friend's house. It was time for a new one, time to grow up into one that could carry me strong from the stage.

I'm secretly glad that I still get to see that guitar, reminder of every person, every living room, every song that came from it.

This shirt, that guitar - I'm reminded of one reason why I write: to remember.

"I remember every name and every face
and every roadtrip that we ever made.
And I count every single one as my blessing
'cause I know my life never went unlived."
("Who I Am" by Abbye West Pates)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love. Love it. Love you. Love how true it is. :) (From Audra)