Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like musicians that I have listened to since I was a teenager are my best friends. Their songs have carried me through joy, fear, pain, and hopeless times when nothing else could heal my heart or express my hope and joy. Andrew Peterson is one such musician. I remember discovering his music when I was 13 or 14 years old around 2000. A friend drove my sister and I to his concert in Blackwood, NJ. He had a motorhome with all his gear, his wife Jamie, and Aedan and Asher, his sons, were both still in diapers. He regaled us with stories of writing his song “Loose Change” and being upset that he couldn’t use a title more like “lost penny” because someone else had already used that title. Then, he told us a story about his brother Pete stomping out a fire with his socked feet and burning them off, which makes me think maybe “Pete the Sock Man” was beginning to form back in 2000. That was the first time I saw Andrew in concert and then didn’t seem him again until 2008 at the Behold the Lamb of God Christmas Concert in Richmond, VA. Since 2008, I have seen 4 more Christmas shows (1 more in Richmond and 3 in Raleigh and 1 regular show with Jason Gray in Charlottesville, VA).
In the past 15 years, I’ve seen a talented musician with a witty sense of humor continue to grow into an even better musician, a proud father, and believer that has become comfortable in his own skin and beliefs. He’s humble enough to admit his struggles, his need for community, and his faith in the God. He surrounds himself with other amazing musicians that he is proud of that make his music even better. Last night, I was privileged to see my 5th Behold the Lamb of God concert, but unfortunately, Andrew posted that he was “sick as a dog” and didn’t have voice earlier in the day. We left for the concert (2 ½ hours away) apprehensive about his health. Like the funny, humble man he is Andrew told us all he was sick, but the proceeded to sing with his amazing friends’ help. He made it to nearly the end and at “Behold the Lamb of God” his voice gave out and the audience carried on singing for him. He started crying and couldn’t stop. He was a struggling man, who gave all he had and knew he was loved when we as an audience picked up where he left off. So, Andrew, from “The Chasing Song” to “The Far Country” to “The Reckoning” to “Shine Your Light On Me” to “Be Kind to Yourself”, and more than I can list, thank you for being my confidant, counselor, and big brother. I’m a PK that wears my emotions on my sleeve too, that needs reminding of God’s truth more often than I can admit. Blessings, brother!