As awesome as Friday night was, and it was awesome, it was also highly improbable. For a lot of reasons:
I wasn't entirely sure I liked Sidewalk Prophets. By Friday night, of course, I was sure, but that all spawned from the wrong Christmas present. Around October or November when my sister-in-law, who always gets me what I tell her I want for Christmas, asked me what I wanted for Christmas, tops on my list was Building 429. Below them, I had a whole host of other artists on my Christmas list - from Matt Redman to Brandon Heath to Tenth Avenue North. Lord, I was pulling for Tenth Avenue North to come from somewhere. A few weeks later when she asked for "more" ideas, having secured my top choices everywhere else (I'd hoped), I threw off some more tangible, practical items, and then, still being prodded for more, I remembered Live Like That, which had been frequenting the radio, and threw out Sidewalk Prophets. And do you know what my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas? Sidewalk Prophets. And a jingle bell snowman from my niece and nephew.
It's not that I had anything against Sidewalk Prophets. It's just that at the time, they were not at the top of my playlist. God had my heart with other songs. That's all. But by January, let me tell you - they were up there.
And I don't like concerts. For the same reason I don't like movies and I struggle through church - too much sensory input . I find the experience overwhelming and then it's loud and then it's echoing loud in my head and of course, there are people who stand up the whole time and I'm more of a sitter. (And totally sat behind the four people who stood up the entire time at the Sidewalk Prophets concert.) So it would have been completely natural for me to notice the band was playing just 20 minutes away, utter a "that's cool" and go about my life without thinking another thought about it.
I couldn't get this particular event out of my head.
But who has money for concert tickets when I'm surviving right now on odd jobs and salvage missions? (And thanks to my church, a little woodcarving on the side, which I am sooo blessed by.) Even at $10, it's not the kind of money I'd spend on something like that. Something, you know, I don't even like all that much for a band that sure, is prominent in my playlist now but wasn't six months ago. In steps my friend Andy, who I have known since elementary school, and it turns out his church is hosting the event and he's setting aside a ticket in my name. "Come and be blessed!" Andy told me in a Facebook message. Lord, if either one of us had known....
So I had a ticket. And I went.
I'm not the kind of person to linger. Normally, I'm in and out. I think more about beating traffic out of the parking lot than socializing. Especially on a Friday night. After the sun has already gone down. When it's past my bedtime (yes, I'm one of those people). But this Friday night, I didn't feel any of the pressures of time or place. I was content to wander around the lobby, not feeling like it was time to go home yet, and wait on a chance to talk to Dave.
And I've never really pitched my book before. I'm not all about the fame and so I figure people just come across it as they come across it and who am I? But Friday, I gathered my nerve and decided to go for it.
Which leaves the problem of not having a book.
I wasn't supposed to have a copy of my own book. I don't keep them in stock. I don't have a garage full of thousands of copies of Recess with Jesus that I'm just trying to unload every chance that I get. I literally had one copy of my book in the pocket of my seat because sometime last summer, I was getting so many requests that I offered a deal to family and friends and bought them through my author account to save everyone a little money. That book had been marked for an older woman who for several weeks following the order, lamented that she never had her money with her and then ended up borrowing the book from a friend to read it and never commented another word to me about her copy after about September. So I was stuck with it, at my own expense, and had tucked it away for a rainy day. Whenever I found someone who might be blessed by a copy.
It was actually going to go to the greeter at Wal-Mart, ok? I had pegged in my mind that this was who I was going to give this book to. She and I haven't crossed paths in awhile, but it used to be that every time we did, she'd ask about my book and we'd talk for awhile. But we haven't crossed paths and it just never worked out to give her that book. (I may buy one more copy and keep it in my car in case we see her again. I don't know why Wal-Mart got rid of their greeters. At least, my Wal-Mart did.)
And so it just so happened that Friday night, I had one copy of my book that I was able to give away. To a band whose CD I accidentally got for Christmas at a concert I wasn't going to attend in a time and place I would have vacated long before on any other night to talk about myself, my least favorite subject.
Friday night was absolutely improbable. And it was absolutely awesome. Whenever anyone asks me why I love God so much, it's for this very reason: all of the improbable things.
My life is full of them. In fact, my life is wholly improbable and I love it that way. It reminds me every day what God is doing in me. Even if I don't know the specifics, I know the word: it's the improbable. And that's really cool.
I'm heading back to regular content next week, and I have some awesome thoughts to share coming out of the Scriptures, but I wanted to take this week to share one long story with you because this is my God, as I experience Him, and I want to give glory to that God. As much as I can.
While waiting on the next improbable thing He's about to do...(and I've got a few specifics in mind)...