Saturday night in Seattle, I had the privilege to go listen to one of my favorite authors, Eugene Peterson. I attend with my pastor friend from Spokane, Justin Bryeans and my Seattle artist friend, Matt Whitney.
Eugene's talk was about how art and artists have influenced his pastoral life. He shared how he felt pastors and artists are both desperately needed in todays culture to speak truth, prophetically portray life's blessings and brutalities and uncompromisingly live an authentic and creative life.
After the evenings stimulating presentation, we headed to one of Matt's local pubs in his neighborhood, for some unpacking of the evenings message. Over good beer and "funny Cashews" we shared deep thoughts, struggles, laughter and...life. Justin just happened to be in Seattle doing a wedding, and Matt was the one that tipped me off to Eugene's appearance at the Image Magazine award night at his church. All three of us were very glad we had been present for the evenings illuminations and libations.
I often hear people bash church, retell their horror stories of betrayal, dysfunction and disillusionment about relationships in religious circles. I've experienced them too, seen the ugliness that people can do to one another and have been tempted to disavow myself from the vulnerabilities that come with the communal life. But its friends and brothers like these, that resuscitate my hope, reclaim my waning trust in friendship and heal my own relational sufferings.
It was quite a coincidence that I was sitting in that cathedral and this pub with a pastor and an artist...both men embody the truth of Eugene's message. I felt blessed to call both of them brother and friend. It's an amazing thing to find people to journey with who live their lives with purpose, passion and authentic vulnerability.
I hope everyone would risk the pitfalls of pursuing life with such men and women. It may be hard to find them, and the pain along the way may cause you to want to abandon the search..but trust me, the discovery is worth it all.
It is better therefore that two should be together, than one: for they have the advantage of their society...-Ecclesiastes 4:9