It has been a full day. I’m sitting on an outdoor patio, having just returned from a quick walk of a block or two into downtown Greenville after dark. I couldn’t help myself. I loved North Main Street so much in the daytime I had to see the lights in the trees, hear the sounds of the musicians on the street and smell the temptation of an international array of foods coming from restaurants after the sun went down.
Allume has been everything I had hoped it would be. If you could label places as makarios, this would be one of those places. It started with Alisha Gordon opening my eyes to the danger of a single story in a whole new way right after a breakfast featuring a strange delicacy known as “sugared bacon.” We up North need to adopt that tradition right there.
Then, I met a kindred spirit in a session with Gwen Smith. My Sunday school class would be pleased to know I am not the only teacher who so loves diving into the word of God that they chase tangents. Her words on making first things FIRST may well be the major takeaway of the conference for me, as drenched in Scripture as they were.
Then, two more sessions on writing. Write fearlessly. Write truth. Write from brokenness, but don’t leave people there.
On a slightly warm fall afternoon, I walked five blocks down Main Street to a Falls Park on the Reedy. It’s a downtown park complete with waterfalls and a suspension bridge. An older man was playing Dust in the Wind on an unplugged electric guitar in a plaza at the entrance of the park. It seems like such an unusual choice for a street musician.
The falls were beautiful and busy as families ignored the posted signs prohibiting climbing on the rocks. One adventurous photographer climbed out into rocks at the very point at which the falls spilled over the edge. I watched him from Liberty Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the Reedy River, spellbound by his adventurous spirit almost as much as I was annoyed that someone would act so recklessly.
Downtime with my roommates – two wonderful women who were strangers a week ago and are friends now. Dinner. Silken-voiced Reeve Coobs singing old hymns and new worship songs to take us to the throne. Sara Hagerty reminding us how God adores us.
Now, I am along on a plaza filled with tables on green chairs. I hear the people at the restaurant and bar behind me. I see the cars going down Main Street. I watch people walking in groups.
And I wonder if they have seen God today as I have.
This is the first post about my weekend at Allume. Check out part two here.