“Umbrellas and Elephants”
“I wish that the sun would come and stay.”
This song was an anthem for a really bright time in my life: the spring of 2010.
I was 18 years old, tour managing for a band called The Calling of Levi. The six of us piled into a van with our backpacks and a crate full of cereal, and we hit the road to tour around the country. We left home with only enough money for fuel and food for the first five days of our six-week adventure—but that wouldn’t stop us.
Each week, we found ourselves in a different city and a different home. In each town, a family we had never met would open up their home to us. It takes a pretty unique family to open their home to six young guys for a week. I mean, we didn’t always smell great, and we literally ate everything. But these families were so warm toward us. It was so encouraging to see people who cared so much in a situation where they were not expected to. They saw our need, and they met it, simply because they could.
“And I know once the clouds shed their tears, I know that I’ll be okay.”
Every night of the tour, we would gather in a lounge room for community nights. One of us would bring a verse from the Bible to talk about, and we would discuss what each word meant to us and which parts just didn’t make sense. We would talk over our joys and our struggles. We listened and prayed together. I had five brothers with whom I shared everything, and they shared everything with me. We lived in community together.
And this song… We would scream this song at the top of our lungs as we drove across the desert and through unfamiliar towns. This song was our heartbeat.
“Even if the rain always wins, and forces my eyes shut… I’ll still dream of brighter days.”
If I’m honest, there were times when this song would frustrate me. If it came on, I would feel tired and burnt out. I guess that is part of what community means. There are times when you will feel tired and frustrated at each other, but you push through because people matter. Community is born through that struggle to push forward.
There is beauty in taking the time to listen and share with a friend. It’s healthy, and we need it. I crave this sense of community constantly. It doesn’t come easy, but it is always worth the effort.
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