Friday, December 14, 2012

Playing The Ryman

The Ryman. Most famous former home of the Grand Ole Opry. The stage musicians long to play on.


Musicians say when they Play the Ryman--(because you don't "play at the Ryman", you "play the Ryman")--no matter how famous they are--they are without fail humbled. Humbled thinking about all legends who have trod the same boards before them. Legends including Elvis, Johnny Cash (who met his wife June Carter for the first time back stage at the Ryman), Patsy Cline. They all played the Ryman.

Emmy Lou Harris, Neil Young, Mumford and Sons, Coldplay have all played the Ryman.

And now me. Yes, I "Played the Ryman."


Last December around this time, I found myself sitting on that same legendary stage looking out at the audience--sitting among my wonderfully talented musician friends--and having really no idea how I got there. I'm a children's book writer. This is not part of what we do.

And yet--there I was "Playing the Ryman." (I was not singing you'll be relieved to hear--just reading from my books). I was honored to be part of Andrew Peterson's moving BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD Christmas concert.

And here I am back again for another year. Thanks to Andrew. And I can't wait.

(And I'll still be pinching myself.)

(And sending photos to prove it to you--but mostly to prove it to me.)


Monday, December 10, 2012

"Song Of The Stars"

And high above a single star set in the highest heavens shone out brighter than all the others and poured down silver onto the little shed... "A Light to light up the whole world". {Song of the Stars}

When Zondervan asked me to write a Christmas picture book, my first thought was Oh no! There are so many Christmas picture books out there already. How can I make one that’s different.

And I wondered— how can I catch the reader by surprise with this magnificent, familiar story?

And suddenly I was a child again in Africa full of excitement and longing and wonder.

Christmas was coming. There was no snow on the rooftops. The evenings weren’t closing in. But Christmas was coming.

I was a little pale blond English girl living in a world surrounded by nature and by animals who had no argument with their maker.

Romans 8:19 speaks of “all of Creation longing.” The Psalms tells us that the created order now declares the glory of God (Psalm 19 & 65).

And I began to wonder: when Jesus came, did Creation sense it? It would not be surprising if they did—since they now declare the glory of God, since they long for him. I started imagining the animals and the stars sensing and rejoicing in the coming of Jesus.

When the one who made them came to earth, maybe they knew—though we didn’t.

When the promised gift, the long-awaited one—at last breaks into history—when he at last comes down into his world it is as a glorious surprise.

When Heaven kisses earth. When God becomes man.

Because every Christmas story comes as a gift—and a surprise after longing.

Different that we expected. More than we hoped. Just what we need.

And full of wonder.

"Song of the Stars" is mine.

My hope is that it will perhaps capture something of that wonder.  That we would long for him, the way Creation longs for him. And most of all, that he would find room in our hearts—that he would be born again in our hearts this Christmas.


where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin