The weather outside was frightful.
The sky dumped slush on the city of Bismarck. Blizzard warnings. Power outages. Closed roads.
“We sold a lot of tickets,” Gwen The Promoter said, “but we don’t know how many will be here.”
But we were safe and warm inside The Belle Theatre.
Built at the turn of the last century, The Belle was saved from demolition a few years back. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to tear her down.
We set up, sound checked, gathered for prayer backstage – not knowing if anyone would make it to the show. And stepped through the curtain amazed that the place was packed. With wound up Lutherans and Catholics. The most fun we’ve had all tour. And the most children sponsored too.
All thanks to Gwen, her cousin Anita, their husbands and loads of friends.
Months ago Gwen got this “crazy idea” to bring Selah to Bismarck. She told Anita about it and Anita agreed to help out with hospitality if the band ever actually made the trek to North Dakota. “Sure,” she said, not so sure it would ever happen.
But Gwen called Selah’s booking agency and, well, not only did Selah come to North Dakota but they brought Aaron and me with them. And I’m so glad they did. So glad Gwen took a chance, tried something big and crazy, and made that call.
We’re not usually away from home for more than two or three days at a time. More than that and the homesickness colors everything with melancholy – for me anyway. I become more susceptible to negativity and boredom – two powerful enemies of passion and joy in my life.
There are shows – and people – that take energy from us. And that’s not a bad thing. We’re out here on the road to give ourselves away. But there are also shows – and people – who give more energy to us than we’ve given out. Gwen, Anita, and the rowdy people of Bismarck did just that.
We arrived wet and cold and homesick with low expectations. A first time promoter? A blizzard closing roads? Power outages? Lutherans? I’m ashamed to admit it. But thrilled that God – once again – exceeded expectations. Refilled us.
Thank you, Gwen.