Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This past weekend, I attended an event called Hutchmoot in Nashville, Tennessee. I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, to write about it here since it was a gathering of people interested in story and faith. It was put together by the Rabbit Room, a blog started by my favorite music artist, Andrew Peterson.

It was, quite simply, the best weekend of the year so far. To be honest, I sort of didn't know what to expect. I hoped, of course, that it would be good, but it's always a bit nerve wracking to go meet a bunch of people you don't know at all and others you've only known online.

I didn't need to worry. When Pete Peterson recognized me right away, I felt a sort of relief and while the first few awkward minutes of trying to figure out where to hang out in the church passed, I was delighted to be surrounded by wonderful, gracious, like minded folk.

I've been trying to figure out how to explain it...the feeling of peace, gentleness, and hope that saturated the event. It was like being in a place where everyone desired to share community. It felt like belonging.

We talked books and story and we ate the best food I've had all year (I'm not kidding!) Everything felt drenched in love and honesty. The entire weekend I thought my heart might explode from gratitude for being allowed to share in the weekend.

Of course, I think it helps that I've read The Rabbit Room since its inception, that I've loved and lived by the music of Andrew Peterson for eight years, that my history runs quite deep with a lot of the artists music. Watching their community and hearing them share about it left not a few of us with a deep longing for a creative community of our own. Being invited in a little closer for a short time is a gift I won't soon forget. It felt a little bit like "finding your people" as I shared with a new friend over the weekend.

It was a sweet time indeed. There's so much in my mind and heart to digest and think about over the next few weeks including what it all means for me personally and what it means for my own creative endeavors.

One friend shared that she didn't find the spiritual content to be very high. I've spent some time thinking about this and why I disagree. We certainly didn't have worship sessions or times of explicit teaching, but the love of God was on rich display through His people. It was in some ways the most spiritual experience I've had in a long time.

I might try to share some specific things I learned or thought about during the weekend at a later time, but if you are reading this and you're a Christian who loves the arts I can't recommend enough that you start reading The Rabbit Room and figuring out how you'll make it there next year. It's such a beautiful community and I don't think you'll be disappointed at all in what you find there.

Even when Hutchmoot was over I got to meet up with a long-time online friend and that conversation was as challenging and edifying to me as the rest of the weekend.

When I feel like this, like I've been gifted with so much, I feel ridiculously lucky and wonder if I can ever give back to the world a fraction of what has been given to me. I hope so. I'll certainly be trying.


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