The following story gave impetus to the creation of this blog:
Mrs. Anderson’s Invitation
On a freezing December evening in 1966, two teenage boys found themselves stranded in a small town in Arizona along Route 66 after failing to hitch a ride to California. With the town closed and nowhere to go, cold and desperate for sleep, they formed a makeshift bed in a nearby ditch, blanketing themselves with whatever leaves they could gather to keep warm. The next morning, an old woman by the name of Mrs. Anderson happened upon the restless, disheveled pair and with the promise of warmth and music, she invited them to church. Desperate for respite, they obliged. Unbeknownst to the teenage vagabonds who had resigned themselves to the back pew where they would spend their time in uncomfortable laughter at the hymn-singing ‘mutant’ rock band and squirming to avoid the fiery Pentecostal sermon aimed in their direction, Mrs. Anderson and her fellow parishioners would flip their awkward experience on its head. At the end of the service, a collection was taken for the boys, allowing them to put themselves up in a comfortable motel and make their way to California the next morning.
In three interviews over the span of 23 years, singer-songwriter, composer and actor Tom Waits has recounted what happened to him and his friend Sam in Stanfield, Arizona. Despite the strange intercultural experience, Mrs. Anderson and her fellow parishioners’ act of love overwhelmed his initial inquietude, causing him to remark 40 years later that it was “probably the most pivotal religious experience I’ve had. If I was going to join a church, I’d join that church” (The Word Magazine, 2006)
We are friends who find ourselves at the heart of this historical parable. We are both Tom, Sam and Mrs. Anderson. Poor vagabonds stranded in a strange land, trying to find our way home and peculiar residents looking to help the wayfaring stranger find theirs. We hope that our lowly attempts at weaving (darn) words (sermons) can speak life into yours as you quest for home…and we invite you to speak into ours.
= Mrs Anderson (anagram)
P.S. We do this because we love it… we don’t make a penny off anything here