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What’s Left After the Storm

Well, that was a crazy week. Nashville had the most rain in recorded history in a span of 36 hours. Flood. It was insanity.

I ended up in a crew of folks in our neighborhood running from house to house over the first few days. We started out bailing water out of basements, shop-vac-ing in seeming futility for hours on end. Then we were ripping up flooring, pulling down drywall. Then hauling it out to the curb. Then taking a two-minute shower because the water treatment plants shut down.

What a week.

I had so many plans. Birthday party for our friend Katie. First church meeting in a new (temporary) building. Rock show at 12th and Porter with my amazing band. I was going to finish writing and recording new songs for YoungLife camp this Summer. Was going to cut drums and guitars on an EP for Seth Harper. Was going to make more money than I was spending.

Didn’t work out.

But a lot of other Nashvillians had plans, too. Some events, like weddings or meetings. But more so, plans to keep the family pictures forever. To hand down the wedding dress or that old guitar. To have a safe and welcoming home for their families and friends. To live and see their kids grow up, get married, have kids of their own.

For some folks in our city, these plans didn’t work out either.

But quite strangely, there are parts of me that are grateful. Grateful for the folks I didn’t know, who go to my church and showed up at my house to help haul soaked drywall to the curb. Grateful that I got to see my intentional Wednesday night friends again on Thursday morning. That we got to put action to what we always talk about. Seeing needs and getting to serve each other in a very tangible way.

A lot of people use the phrase “get your hands dirty”. Ours were filthy. Cracked and blistered.

As for our house, we had to rip out all the flooring and walls in the finished portion of our basement. What used to be the studio where we recorded “The Morning” and Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb” and a ton of other amazing memories is now just drywall and concrete. Thankfully, my new studio was unharmed and I didn’t lose any gear. But it was a backbreaking week that left us with three small dumpsters in the front yard and a week’s lost income.

Personally, I’m frustrated and inconvenienced by our losses. I grieve with those down the street who lost much more.

And I’m grateful none of us are having to face it alone.

I found this video today which beautifully shows what last week looked like for a lot of us. Some of these shots are within blocks of our home.

The video is here, for those of you reading this on facebook –


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