Strangers can open your soul.

I pass a lady in the halls of my children’s school every day for school pick up and she has no idea that she has enriched my life.  Our conversations are few and brief, most days we just nod and move along.

A few months back, I ended up being in the right place at the right time.  I was standing behind her and her husband while they discussed an event they were hosting at their house.  They were hosting a house concert.

I’ll admit I am ignorant in the ways of the world, but I had never heard of such a thing.  I’ve had friends or family bring out instruments or begin singing when we were at home, on the road, or at a small gathering but I’ve never heard of an intentional small gathering at a home to listen to a band.

I was intrigued so I made a comment that made it obvious I was intentionally eves dropping on their conversation.  I’m not sure if they felt obligated to invite me at that point, but they promptly issued an invitation.  Not only did I accept the invitation, but I invited my husband and two additional friends.

One of the friends that I invited to come along is an art teacher.  As expected, her home is filled with unique and interesting art.  There is no unified theme to the art.  The paintings she routinely changes up over different spaces do not ‘match the couch.’  I love going to her home because it is warm and welcoming.  The moment you walk into her home it’s like the entire house gives you a hug on the way inside.  I never understood that a big reason her home was so welcoming was the art.

We arrive at the house concert and we walk in the door.  As soon as I walk in, my heart gives a little sigh.  I felt welcomed.  But why?  I don’t really know these people and I hadn’t even spoken to anyone.  It was the art.  The art she had up on her walls was complex and interesting.  I’m not sure why I needed that particular moment to make the connection that you need art on your walls, not an attempt to copy a decorating magazine; but that was my moment.

I think it was because I expected it from my artist friend, not my casual acquaintance.

We arrived early enough to the house concert that we mingled for a bit before we had to find our seats.  The conversations were as unique and diverse as the art on the walls.  The lights were low, and just standing in this semi-strangers house gave me such a sense of being right where I needed to be, right in the moment I needed to be there.

It was comforting and relaxing, yet entertaining in a mix of very complex emotions for me.  I’m not saying it’s the moment I found Jesus.  It wasn’t like that, it was just unique and different from most of my moments so it has stuck with me for months.  I keep going back in my mind to analyze it so I can re-create it.  Or at the very least understand what it is that I’m seeking out.

So then the band begins.  Lowland Hum.  Oh, my.  Yes.  Their bio states, ‘Lowland Hum aims to address listening audiences as whole people, engaging their senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch, and inviting them to be present with one another for an evening.’

That’s exactly what I was; engaged in the moment.

I like a variety of music and a lot of the music I listen to wouldn’t be classified as art in my mind.  “All About That Base” is such a fun song, but I personally don’t think ‘art‘ when I sing it.

Lowland Hum is art.  Art for your ears.  Odell is my personal favorite.  I listen to this song a lot.

Since that night, I’ve been seeking out art to put into my home that touches my soul.  Art you can listen to, see with your eyes, touch with your hands.  Art that doesn’t match the couch.  Art that makes you feel welcome when you come into my home.

This woman has no idea she has opened my mind, my soul, and I pass her every day in the hall.

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