Hi. It’s Dave here. A few weeks ago, in the middle of the afternoon, I got a phone call while running some errands. It made me smile because I knew the artist calling, and enjoy talking to this person. We chatted about several light-hearted topics, made a few jokes, and then there was an awkward pause in the conversation, followed by an apology from the caller for switching the tone of our talk. “…..I’m sorry to call like this, I am, uh.. Just driving to Nashville and, um, getting MORE and MORE angry as I think about the meetings I have with my (record) label, and I thought, who could I call to help me out… I’ll call Dave! I figured this is why you drive all over in the summer hanging out with us, right?” I was so surprised, but so thankful to God for this opportunity to walk with this artist through some tough questions that were being asked– a defining moment in thinking about who God had wired them to be, about integrity even at the cost of album sales, about living the kind of way that Jesus calls each of us to live. This was a significant conversation. It was significant because it was about faith, life, art, and the weaving together of each of those things amidst trying to support one’s family, trying to survive in an industry that is at the same time shrewd business and also supposed to be God-honoring. Sadly, those two elements don’t always see each other, and that can really mess with someone trying to navigate the Christian Music world honestly while not getting chewed up by it. This significant conversation happened because of the relationship building from this summer, from this fall. It wasn’t some task we were trying to accomplish, some formula we’d tried to implement, not some 3 step plan with an outcome based strategy involved. It came as a result of our family opening our home and giving space when asked, of providing food or prayer or just practicing presence and being near physically and/or spiritually. It was significant for me, but I’m reminded– it can be that same way for ALL of us with ALL of our conversations if we are ALL willing to put in our treasured time and simply share life with others- the kind of thing that will help deepen and develop relationships with those around us. Do that, and the impact will be an eternal one– lasting even longer than that drive to Nashville.