Wednesday, October 3, 2012

canterbury tales

When I was in college, my husband and some his friends started a night that consisted of music, speaking, art, storytelling, and whatever else they thought was relevant to OBU students and the Shawnee community.  They called it Canterbury.  We met downtown and spent an hour-ish together praying, singing, listening, and encouraging.

My band had the honor of playing for this gathering.  I remember being totally swamped with theory, music history, practicing, etc., but knowing I would be refreshed there.  It was a break from everything.

Last Thursday night, my band was asked to come back and play for Canterbury.  I can't describe what it felt like pulling up to the church building with our cars loaded full of equipment and our hands eager to play.  As I walked through the doors, the old church smell immediately took me back.  I was suddenly that stressed out music major who was dating Colt and anticipating my teaching career.

After setting up and sound checking, we all crammed into our car and went to Van's to eat, of course.  (You know, because it's really beneficial and fun to sing on a crazy full stomach.)  We all stuffed ourselves with tasty BBQ, unbelievable fries, and perfect fried okra.

We headed back to the church and mingled with OBU folks as the room gradually filled up.  With each new group of friends that walked in, my heart burst with excitement.  Excitement because people are still coming to this thing.  How cool.

As I sat at the piano to play and sing, so much of myself was in observation mode.  I looked to the back of the room and saw Sara and Megan, two of my sweet friends who were also my college roommates.  I looked to the right and saw the kitchen counter surrounded by people eating snacks provided by some hospitable OBU girls.  It was just the same.  Except that I wrote the set list on the back of this:

Obviously some things have changed.

What a blessing it was to be back in that place.  I was not only sitting there with a new life as a mom and wife, but I was a new person.  I was singing "Oh, how He loves us" and "I will not boast in anything" and "Christ, my sanity" and "Blow through the caverns of my soul."  Wow, I thought, I didn't know what any of this meant in college.  I mean, I knew it as well as I could know it.  I tried my best to know it.  But now, I have a few life experiences that have forced me to know it.  I'm so thankful for that.

Colt told the students to keep going.  To keep doing this, keep gathering, keep being changed and changing others around you no matter where you are.  You have to just keep going ... even if you're in a rough spot where you feel absolutely nothing and are completely empty.  Things are bound to change.

I will always hold those Canterbury nights so dear to my heart.  Thank you to all of you who worked and are working at making Canterbury a place of refuge and peace for all.


  1. This just makes me so happy. Great post, Claire.

    1. Thanks. :) It was such a fun night. Just wish I could've transported all of my OBU buddies there with us!

  2. I loved this post! Such special memories, I always looked forward to driving up from Norman for Canterbury. Wish I could have come last week!

    1. I know ... I love thinking about you living in Shawnee with us on the weekends. :)


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