You know that familiar icebreaker? If you could create your perfect dinner party, who would you invite to be the guests? Your response might be something like Andrew Carnagie, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Carter (Okay, maybe not...). Well, a few years ago I had the opportunity to share a meal with one on my "dream" guest list before I even knew who he was.
A last-minute invitation to a local concert led me to share a table, a chicken casserole, and a conversation with singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson. As my friend and I waited for him to conclude his pre-concert soundcheck, I perused the merchandise table and realized I wasn't prepared for the coming encounter at all. However, Peterson was immensly kind, utterly humble, and deeply down to earth.
He seems to share the lens through which I try to see the world: everything is spiritual. And he explores and reasons and wrestles and celebrates in his music in ways that leave me thinking, rejoicing, and agreeing with a wholehearted and hopeful "Yes!"
Just as I can gaze upon a work by Wyeth or ponder a powerful sentence of Berry with a silence and stillness that not many artists invite me into, I can enter into such a place with the music of Andrew Peterson. It invites me to live this line from Wendell Berry: "For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."