Sara Groves Concert

by Travis Pickell

Guest Post written by (the beautiful) Sarah Gauche Pickell 08/08/10.

Travis and I head off to a Sara Groves concert tonight. He’s only been waiting three months for this night to arrive. I’ve been waiting nearly ten years. I’ve seen Sara Groves all over my hometown—her house is just a mile from my parents’. I’ve seen her at Bylerly’s, made her a latte at Caribou on 42 and 11—but tonight, I’ll see hear her music straight from the source.

I first heard Sara Groves in my friend Alex’s burgundy Honda Accord. We were driving to high school one early, cold Minnesota morning. I couldn’t believe that someone with such clarity of voice could have taught at the high school down the street, worshipped at the sister church of where I spent Wednesday nights, and lived a mile away from my little suburban world.

Wonders never cease.

The lyrics of each of her songs, beginning with Conversations, returns snapshots from my memory of moments…

Talking to Leena, and having hard conversations about life and meaning in a Moroccan restaurant in Northampton, Mass.

Running along Mill River on fall morning to Painting Pictures of Egypt, wondering if I really was better off in the desert.

Mulling over what I thought I wanted, and what I ended up getting

Embracing my own journey.

Anticipating my own home going as I sat alone on the Mississippi shore, grieving a very special woman’s death.

Testing a relationship—will I find someone who wants to roll to the middle too?

Looking forward to what joy motherhood may be—in whatever form it takes.

Flotsam, jetsam, falling in love with a man from the sea.

Sharing with a dear friend a song that says far better than I ever could that love is still a worthy cause.

Feeling compelled to share the beauty of life I’ve discovered in very ugly places in the world—I saw what I saw and I can’t erase it.

Fireflies and songs—love surprises, delights, encourage! This life is half as hard and twice as good with Travis.

I came of age to Sara Groves’ music. Some days, I am still coming of age to her words.

This is the power of music. It allows us to say things in a way our spoken words may not accurately convey. It burrows into our hearts: the words running through our heads at the least likely moment. They can be words of truth, of goodness, of grace. Music opens us, reminding us that our hearts are tender, and that tender hearts are good. Her music helps me stay open to all that this life offers, like a lake. Sara Groves’ music, and the stories her songs tell, narrates the Gospel in my everyday life.

And so we’re off to hear her with good friends, a sweet little baby, and some peanut butter M&Ms for the drive.