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Monday, August 08, 2005

On The Road Again: Baltimore, MD

Last night I played at Dundalk EPC to a mixed-age crowd, of which at least ¼ was over the age of seventy. I’m continually amazed at the ability of hymns to bridge generation gaps. The pastor was surprised to see that they had quite a few folks that don’t go to their church come out to the concert, particularly since his promotional plans fell through due to an unexpected trip and a few helpers dropping the ball. He asked a few of them how they heard about the concert. They said they heard about it on the radio. He found that odd, considering he hadn’t contacted the local station to announce the concert. Yes, they said, we heard on the radio that Michael W. Smith was coming to Dundalk Presbyterian tonight. Oh Michael, our comically boring similar names will result in many more hijinks throughout the years.

There was an ice cream social afterwards in the basement fellowship hall. I passed on the deliciousness because I hadn’t had dinner and my momma raised me right (though, on second thought, maybe the double fudge cookie dough Blizzard I had earlier in the day gave me pause). I did get to meet a few people and thank them for coming to the concert though. Thanks to Darian for inviting me to play.

I got up this morning and was on time getting up, on time for my rental car return, on time for my flight, and just generally on time. Southwest, however, was not on time. Consequently, I missed my connecting flight in Raleigh/Durham and am stuck in the airport until 4:50pm (my original flight was to be at 12:50pm). I asked Southwest to at least buy me a grilled teriyaki chicken sandwich with fries and a pickle spear, and they obliged. After that satisfying meal, I took a seat by a gate adjacent to the one I’m to fly out of (there were more seats, which allowed me to spread out a bit). Not five minutes after a sat down, a woman approached me and said “Excuse me, are you Matthew Smith?” It was a very good family friend that I nevertheless had not yet had a chance to sit down and have a conversation with. We talked for about a half an hour before she had to catch her flight to Baltimore. It was a wonderful time that came seemingly out of the blue, but of course was ordained by a sovereign God who cares for his children. This leads me to a few conclusions: 1) The circumstances that led to this “chance” meeting were so varied and nuanced (flight timing, length of meal, unusual choice of seating, me pulling one of the books Bob gave me out of my bag though I had no intention of reading it for at least another fifteen minutes, etc.) that I must conclude God holds a frightening amount of control over this universe and over me. 2) It would only be frightening (in the unhealthy-fear sense, rather than the reverent-fear sense) if God were not good. I continually try and remind myself that God is both completely sovereign and completely good. Forget one of those and you end up with a terribly warped view of God.

Thank you Lord, for you love your children, and hold us in the palm of your hand.

(A friend of mine recently had an airport story of his own.)

Listening:
Beck – Guero
Waterdeep – Everyone’s Beautiful
Mute Math – Reset
Moby – Hotel:Ambient

3 Comments:

Anonymous matt grace said...

Matthew, you can understand why I, personally, find the fact that folks confuse you for MWS hilarious. Amazing.

Peace.

7:31 AM

 
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey Matthew!

I'm listening to Guero right now too and someday want to pick your brain on the last song...esp. the line "scarecrow shadow on a Nazarene..." Also, have you heard of Sufjan Stevens? beautiful/interesting music, intriguing perspectives, refreshing way of speaking of faith. He wants to write a cd for every state..."Greetings from Michigan" and "Come on and feel the Illinoise" are already done. You should check him out if you haven't....sufjan.com...listen to clips! come on, do it! (i've become an evangelist) Hope you and Alice are great! miss you guys!

Elizabeth Herron

10:02 AM

 
Anonymous Glenn said...

Matthew,
Ever come to Charlottesville? There are many of the King's lovers of beauty in this fair place.

9:41 PM

 

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