Last week our entire staff spent 24 hours together on a retreat where we were enriched by the music and stories of Steve Bell. Steve is a Christian singer/songwriter who recently completed an album called Pilgrimage. It’s a great album and shows off his incredible musical abilities. He has found a passion and a gift that is shaping God’s World.
Steve has many unique connections to our school including the fact that one of his songs, The Lorica, became an anthem for our school a couple years ago when we walked through the sickness and eventual passing of Sandra Elgersma, our beloved elementary music teacher of many years. In Steve’s day with us he led us in the song a bunch of times—very touching and emotional for all of us.
However, one of Steve’s most unique gifts is sharing his own stories, writing songs about them and then singing and playing them for us. Steve is a man like most of us, who is on a journey or pilgrimage, and much of his story is a lot like ours: full of pain, unanswered questions, mystery, and a tug-of-war relationship with our precious Saviour. In short, Steve exposed his humanity.
OH, THE HUMANITY
This humanity was the most significant connection to our school.
ACS is way more than an institution—it is an organization made up of a community of people, a community of humans—and we all are on a journey of faith as we seek to glorify our Lord.
When Steve started talking about his elderly parents and the suffering and sadness they are experiencing as they become older and deal with these issues (as well as the rest of the family), many of us could relate.
When Steve shared with us that his adult children no longer attend church and he shared the stories that relate to why this is the case—we began to come alongside his humanity.
When Steve talked about his grandkids and the huge pay-off they are in his life (and then played Pop Up and the Lads), there were nods all over the place.
When Steve shared his experiences of learning how to play guitar with inmates of a prison, and then played a song that related to this (the Drumheller’s Circle), we thought about how Christ uses the “weak in spirit” and the “least of these” to accomplish much in this world.
Steve also brought us closer to an understanding of the most beautiful love story of all time—that of God and his people as we journey together! And he used the time of Lent to bring us into this story. It was a beautiful time as we resonated with this perspective.
DUSTING OURSELVES OFF
Steve shared his soul, his humanity, with all of us…and for some reason it struck a deep cord. At its core, ACS is made of humans that are striving to achieve a common mission and purpose. We often stumble in this endeavour, we often get it wrong, and we often find ourselves at a loss for how to move forward with difficult issues.
In short, we are human.
And yet, through all of our humanity, we keep picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and moving forward to accomplish this noble mission and purpose. On this journey—this pilgrimage—may we continue to flourish as we: Engage Minds, Nurture Hearts, and Shape God’s World.