Ok, I forgot one very important element of my ICRS experience, and I couldn't let it slip by without telling the story.
We had slogged our way through 2 days of being on the floor-- talking and meeting people... and walking. Lots of walking. Our feet screamed in protest as we made our way through the convention center towards the shuttle bus that would take us back to the hotel, where our car awaited to get us home. We were all ready to get home.
We flopped into our shuttle bus seats, just relieved to be off our feet. Just as the bus was about to pull away from the curb, Rachel's phone rang. She listened to whomever it was and then handed the phone to Lysa. She listened for a few seconds, then stood up, gathered her things and began to get off the bus with Rachel following suit. They turned to me and said, "Come on. Just trust us." So, I followed them-- I mean, what choice did I have right? But I was grumbling the whole way.
When we got off the bus I looked at Lysa and said, "This better be good."
She beamed, "It is."
I replied, "The only thing that would be worth me getting off that bus right now is if Steven Curtis Chapman himself was here giving a private concert." Her eyes got big as saucers as she nodded.
She started laughing. "That's exactly what it is!" We began to run (remember our sore feet?) to the room where the concert was taking place. The guy at the door stopped us, as the event was by invitation only. Lysa stammered out the name she had been told by Gwen (remember Gwen, the music girl?) to tell them and we were allowed in to take our seats. I turned to look over and there he was, just standing around like everyone else. Though I have been to see him in concert numbers of times, I had never been that close to him. It was surreal.
I am not often starstruck, but I have to admit I was in that moment. There were only about thirty people there to hear his new album, which will be out this fall. The room wasn't very big. It was kind of an odd setup, as he would introduce the song, talk a bit about how or why he wrote it, then they would play it-- he didn't sing or play along on guitar. His daughter was sick and had been taken to the emergency room back in TN, so he was constantly watching his phone for text messages from his wife (Marybeth, cool name) updating him on her condition. He asked us to pray for his daughter, and when he would get updates he would tell us what was going on. The whole thing lasted about an hour.
I realized yet again, that SCC is just a person like the rest of us-- albeit a very musically gifted person. He's a dad who loves his kids and was just as torn between his job and his home as any dad would have been in that moment. I will never forget our little impromptu encounter with SCC and am glad I got to hear the cd. I only regret that I didn't get an advance copy. Because, folks, this cd is good. The songs "Cinderella" (about treasuring our children while we have them) and "One Heartbeat" (about the value of a mom's job) are worth the price of the cd alone. It will be out 10/23/07, so mark your calendars!