Dear Partner Letter #3: A Moment of Truth

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 63

LETTER THREE: A MOMENT OF TRUTH

Outside it’s raining like crazy café dark and almost empty
Soon as you sit down we both see oh, oh, oh a Moment of Truth

From the first words that are spoken something magically unfoldin’
Exposed and completely open oh, oh, oh a Moment of Truth

Clearly this night is containin’ something that defies explainin’
Both can feel life’s ‘bout to change in oh, oh, oh a Moment of Truth
 

©Copyright 2009 Loves Gives More Music

 

Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home. Those are the first verses of a song called A Moment of Truth from the Between Old Friends album. On November 27, 1995 Mike McCoy and I met on a windy, rainy night the Monday after Thanksgiving for an early dinner at the Roadhouse Restaurant north of Seattle on the edge of Lake Washington. On November 30, 2020 we met again this time virtually on what was the Monday after Thanksgiving for an early dinner for the 26th consecutive year to remember that first night and to celebrate the nine thousand one hundred and twenty-five days that followed, and the fact that a moment of truth became a doorway to grace. Because of the pandemic, plans to celebrate those years by recording and sharing new songs have been replaced by a series of letters I’m writing to McCoy and sharing with you. A Moment of Truth is the third of these Dear Partner Letters.

 

Dear Partner, 

For the past twenty-six years we have gotten together for a meal the Monday after Thanksgiving. While this year our time together began as it often does by talking about the year that was and wondering about the one that awaits, the reason for the annual gatherings is to be reminded and so to never forget the life changing wonder of a moment of truth, the significance of bearing witness to each other’s lives, the importance of faith, and the transformational power of love.

We had been friends for more than thirty years when you called that stormy afternoon in 1995. In the previous months you had been the best man at my wedding and a number of weeks later we did concert where we celebrated three decades of singing together. A few years earlier I had helped you build your house. There was no reason to expect whole new levels of friendship and kinship were waiting to be discovered when that phone rang.  

I need to see you, you said. When? I asked. Now. You replied. A few hours later we were at a table at the restaurant. The section empty except for us. For a few minutes I just looked at you while you stared into the distance at something only you could see. After the waiter brought the menus and filled the water glasses, I said I don’t know what’s happened, but I’m here for as long as it takes to get to the other side. And while there weren’t a lot of specifics over the next couple of hours you shared fears and doubts and times of self-loathing and self-destructive behavior and how you could betray the trust of those who love you. And the truth is what I felt and saw as you lit those darkest of places was our connectedness and shared brokenness and common humanity.  

A dozen years earlier our friend, Pat Sands, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage the Saturday night of Father’s Day weekend. I remember being in the hospital early that Sunday morning wanting desperately to do something. A doctor came and said it would be days before they could operate. Sands had been studying to become a preacher. While I had long been disillusioned by religious dogma I grew up in the church and loved the stories. Sands’s passion reminded me how much. As I listened to the rhythm of the machine that was helping Sands breathe, I thought of Jesus and what He chose to do when He knew He had only one day to live. He chose to have a special dinner with His friends. He humbled Himself by washing their feet that night. And then he invited his closest friends to join him in a quiet place and just be together. The only thing he needed from his friends during those last hours was for them to be awake and alert and with him in that garden. Sharing what amounts to prayers or in other words listening to each other’s hearts. While Sands would die a few hours later I discovered in my marrow that day that perhaps the most important thing we can do for each other is to be in each other’s gardens, awake and alert and sharing words our hearts speak. 

And so it would be for you and me in ways big and small. For one thing we talked every day the next year and a half after that dark night. Seldom if ever saying anything profound. Mostly just a way of being there.

That dark night, after we finished sharing a meal, and you shared so much of yourself it was time for you to go home to your wife who to your surprise had not given up on you. And it so happened when you got home that you found Jesus there, too. While you and I don’t share that kind of faith, what we do share is the importance of faith in whatever form it takes.

And when I think about that night today I remember a moment in Moses’ life when he came upon, of all things, a talking burning bush asking him, Moses, to lead his people out of bondage and into the Promised Land. While Moses had been raised in the Palace of the Pharaoh, and expected to lead, he had spent the previous 40 years tending sheep. Moses stared into the fire and all he could say was, “Look at me. Look at me. Long ago I could have tried to do what you’re asking of me now. But look at me. Maybe I could have but now I know I can’t.”

 And the fire replied, “My son, you are finally ready.”

And so it was at your moment of truth you were finally ready to be the man you needed to be to become the man you needed to be. 

The life changing wonder of a moment of truth, the significance of bearing witness to each other’s lives, the importance of faith, the transformational power of love. What a night. I’ll end this letter with another one of our new songs. 

 

There Wouldn’t Be This Day Without That Night.

 

That night forced me to open up
It humbled me taught me to trust
In the darkness I saw enough
To see that I was loved
Chorus
There wouldn’t be this day without that night
If not for the darkness never would have seen the light
God knows it was the worst of times I’m grateful yes that’s right
Cause there wouldn’t be this day without that night

That you would not give up on me
Gave me faith so I believed
And in the darkness I could see
Another’s face not mine not me
Chorus
There wouldn’t be this day without that night
If not for the darkness never would have seen the light
God knows it was the worst of times I’m grateful yes that’s right
Cause there wouldn’t be this day without that night

That you did not just run away
That you found reasons you could stay
And more important kept the faith
So that night could become this day
Chorus
There wouldn’t be this day without that night
If not for the darkness never would have seen the light
God knows it was the worst of times I’m grateful yes that’s right
Cause there wouldn’t be this day without that night

©Copyright 2020 Love Gives More Music
 

 

 

Songs & Stories From Home | Mark Pearson Music

One of Those Times in a Life | Mark Pearson Music

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