Kat asks hard questions. “Why do you blog?” she asked. “What need are you trying to meet?” That was weeks ago and I’ve been pondering ever since…
“Are you famous?” my oldest daughter once asked after a giggly woman walked away from our table at Cracker Barrel.
“Well, to some people,” I explained. Famous, I told my daughter, means that more people know who you are than know who someone else is. So, if more people know Miley Cyrus than know me then to me Miley Cyrus is famous. But what’s that worth?
A person can be known and not kind. Not a good listener. Not a friend. Not a good tipper. Not a present parent. Not loving God or their neighbor.
So being famous says nothing about who a person really is or their relationship with God and others. Fame turns people into products – false gods worshipped by the rest of us.
In James 2 we see that the early church in Jerusalem was in a bad habit of escorting the notables to the good seats and sticking nobodies on the floor. God makes no such delineations: important and not. But we insist upon dividing ourselves – those worthy of the best treatment and everybody else. (If every visitor to a church were treated as well as I am when I show up to sing or speak how different would every church be?)
I was walking across a crowded hotel lobby many years ago during a convention for musicians and their fans in Nashville. A woman saw me, my spiked-up hair and overpriced jeans, whirled me around by the elbow and exclaimed,” Are you somebody??”
And John Piper calls this notoriety poison to his soul and when my songs topped the charts and my shows sold out I felt the venom dissolving my humility and swelling my head. And even now…
Fame hurts the known and the unknown – robbing the famous of humility and accountability and robbing everyone else of purpose and worth.
I started this blog when I was still on a record label, way back in 2005, as a way of destroying the barrier between artist and audience. To keep myself healthy and remind fans of their own value and usefulness to God.
I wanted to kill the divisiveness of fame by becoming a real three-dimensional related person online, not a product – by talking about anything other than my music and career. If I could, I’d take that idea further now.
We’re redesigning shaungroves.com as I type. My hope, at this point, is to make it a space that is more often about others. What if I could introduce you to people who can make us both better?
What if you could meet my mom and dad, my favorite college professor, a brilliant author you’ve never heard of, the wise pastor of a small church who’ll never be given the stage at a conference, a missionary on the front lines of persecution, an executive learning generosity in middle-age, a cancer patient facing death with joy, a teacher remaking the education system, a child who raised money to save lives, a doctor challenging the American Medical Association, a mom overturning death penalty laws in her state, a homeless man who’s learned gratitude, an addict who found sobriety, an adulterer who found forgiveness, a grandmother who went back to school?
I hope I’m not over promising. It’s not a promise really – it’s a desire. That’s all for now.
I want to post interviews and host chats with somebodies – people who love people and love God well right where they are, in fame and anonymity, for the benefit of others and the glory of God. To destroy fame. To empower us all.
If I could do anything with this blog that’s what I’d want to do and why. Thanks for asking, Kat.