This compelling statement was one of many last evening during an intimate evening of art and music with Amy Grant at the historic and stunningly beautiful Atlanta Opera House.
From the moment of entrance, it was clear this night was destined to be magical. For me, especially so.
If you will indulge me a personal moment (a glimpse) of this little boy now a man who grew up in the poverty of the Appalachians – entering this gilded “big city” palace and viewing my paintings placed prominently alongside art created by the likes of Annie Leibovitz was more than I could emotionally absorb.
Each guest received VIP treatment during this evening replete with class and beauty. From the wine to the seating to the parting gift, no detail was left undone. Kudos to Synergy Production Group who produced the tour. And special thanks to Keely Marie Scott for the photos on this post.
As we moved from the gallery into the Opera House auditorium, the sensory delight continued with antique chandeliers, quaint box seats and a stage reminiscent of times when we valued aesthetics over function. It provided the perfect backdrop for one of America’s most gifted troubadours.
Joined by three exceptionally talented band mates, Amy Grant, perfectly dressed in a black ensemble, leggings and boots, set the tone of the evening with the song Come Into My World. And for ninety minutes she regaled and enchanted us with “pieces of her life.“
From the family photos “newly digitized” on the screen above, to the sometimes raw but always authentic and unpretentious glimpses into her life, she afforded us (as only an artist can) the opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate our own stories.
The cute little teenage girl who sang Brand New Start and was the object of many a young Christian boys’ first crush thirty years ago has now become a stunningly beautiful woman and loving mother of four who frankly sings Somewhere Down The Road.
As the pieces of her life came together last night, it was clear the road has not always been easy. The stories of losing a girlfriend and fellow musician to ovarian cancer, first meeting future husband Vince Gill, traveling to Uganda with her family to meet the little girl her daughter sponsors through Compassion, and the trepidation of approaching fifty years of age, were all recounted with a perfect combination of humility and candor.
No complaining. No innuendos. Just simple honesty. Her crystal clear signature voice tinged with a bit of raggedness served as the perfect metaphor for a life that hasn’t gotten older—it’s gotten better.
The true reason for the evening crystallized before intermission as Ben, a tall, handsome, articulate young man from Nairobi, Kenya revealed to us a few pieces of his life. Growing up without hope in the largest trash dump in Africa, he was sponsored by a family via Compassion, International through grade school, high school, and later to college through the Leadership Development Program. His vision for Kenya and Africa is extraordinary and his story filled with hope and promise.
Future leaders such as Ben are the reason Amy is doing this tour, why the various artists created the art, and why Compassion exists. So that the stories of future generations from around the world may be told…and heard.
The tour continues tonight in Orlando and then on to other major markets. If it comes remotely close to you, please, please do NOT miss this magical evening. HERE are the upcoming venues. And if you would like to bid on the art to support the amazing Leadership Development Program of Compassion International—go HERE.
So, what’s your story?
How does this post make you feel?