Looking for America: A Letter to Jon Foreman

Dear Jon,

I do not know you. I know about you. But I do not know you.

The majority of our conversations have been synchronized, which is uncommon for any of my friends even if we do finish each others sandwiches. Our dialogue has rarely gotten past the word “yeah” though a few other sounds were used last night in call and response fashion. I’m not sure those sounds progressed the depth of our conversations. Maybe…

It’s also uncommon for me to write a letter to someone I know about but I do not know. When Paul wrote letters he would open with

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1:16)

I thank my God every time I remember you. (Philippians 1:3)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. (Galatians 1:6)

I couldn’t even begin to say anything as bold as any of these because I don’t have that relationship with you. But I still have something to say to you. Though my messenger may fail and you may not receive this letter, I will continue to write.

Their LOVE is a SONG

I am the one who looks at the groom rather than the bride at weddings. For my brother Matthew, it was no exception. The look on his face when Ashley came down the aisle was enough to make me almost pass out. The photographer captured it and it remains to this day one of my favorite pictures. It is probably the most vivid comparison I have to how our Savior looks at His bride. And in the background, “Your love is a song, your love is strong” rang out toward the Colorado mountains in a beautiful acoustic guitar cover. That idea of God’s love for me will never be devoid of those words.

ashley-and-matt
PC: Ashley Herold
We LET it OUT

My closest friends are a product of a ministry at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In the spring of 2015 we went to New Jersey to help a church promote their Easter service. The week was filled with hard work, cold days, and rejoicing in our King. Some of the bonds formed there are some of my greatest encouragements I will expect to ever have in my life. They remind me to “breathe it in and let it out”, which quickly became the anthem of our entire trip. As I look back on our recap video, those words remind me of something deeper than just a feeling, but of those individual people who continue to encourage and walk through life with each other and me.

sb-15
PC: Wes Williams
I am MEANT to LIVE

I wish I had the time to tell you my full story. But I will have to settled with telling you about my middle school years. They are definitive in my understanding of what it meant to doubt my doubts and believe my beliefs. Many hurricanes have attempted to knock these moments off their cherished position in defining who I am today. But they could not because I knew that I was “meant to live for so much more”. Call it rock ‘n’ roll or angsty teenage music, but last night in Denver I teared up during this song. God has a purpose for me, and those words define how I am viewed by Him and how I view myself and others today.

meant-to-live
PC: Wes Williams
Your LIGHT healed my WOUNDS

Last night in Denver you read a sign that said your LIGHT healed my WOUNDS. That was my sister, Jamie. What you likely didn’t see is two brothers and a sister-in-law looking at their sister holding the sign. We know her. We know her pain and struggles. We know her wounds. We watched as she proudly pushed back darkness and “let the light shine through”. I’m not sure we’ve all realized the vulnerability it takes to admit to onlookers that we have wounds. She did. In humility and vulnerability those words were merely a tagline to a life impacted.

jamie

Everyone wants to LIVE it WELL

I made some friends last night. Mary, Bri, Chelsea, Shantell, Nolan, Steph, Paul, Grace, Noelle, and Sophia. Before last night I knew them even less then I knew you. Then we started sharing stories. I got to know them. I got to witness joy overflowing from complete strangers. With “one life, one love, one voice” every story smelled of the aroma of living life well. There was an incredibly unique harmony that gave those words a pleasurable smell of everlasting joy.

everyone
PC: Switchfoot
HOPE is the anthem of her SOUL

During the after show a girl sat right in front of you. She stood in line behind us before the show began. I know you noticed the way she was looking at you. I am not sure if she knows you better or worse then I do, but I know the look she was giving you. Unmistakably, her t -shirt and her eyes said “Your hope is the anthem of my soul “. I will not forget that look though I do not even know her name. It is a picture of those words which worship our Creator and His ability to restore.

jon
PC: Grace Alexander
FOUND in AMERICA

You named your tour Looking for America. It was clear what you were looking for: Stories. I stood about three people back from the stage and on one occasion you stepped on the fence separating you from your family and looked down into the eyes of some of these Americans right in front of me. I understood your desire to know every single persons story and how they got there. It must be painful knowing that you won’t know many of their stories even though it is clearly a deep longing for you. “America, who are you?” We are these stories and your words that are now a part of our lives.

switchfoot
PC: Ashley Herold

I do not know you but I know these people. They each have their own melody, yet each play an individual note. When these notes are placed together it makes a chord. It may only be one chord in the verse of our lives in the song of the Almighty Artist, but this chord is undoubtedly Jon’s Chord. You have brought us together and made our stories a beautiful sound but for a moment in time. A thank you will never be enough…

But thank you.

Sincerely,

One note, in one chord, in one verse, in one song, in one album, by the One Author

 

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