Monday, May 17, 2010

The Story Behind Naming My Son Keane

Last May I drove with my soulmate and music lover Marisa to our nations Capital to see Mat Kearney and Keane in concert. With the GPS guiding the way and tunes coming thru the iPod it was a lovely drive down the highway to our first destination of the night, Ebenezer's CoffeeHouse, which is part of National Community Church, started by Mark Batterson, author of Wild Goose Chase and Primal.

It is a crazy cool coffee house with great coffee and free wifi! Seriously they need to franchise it and get one in PA.

Making our way from Ebenezer's to Constitution Hall was no easy task in the midst of DC traffic, let alone finding a parking spot.

We found a garage that was closing but the guy said it as ok to park there anyways. (That will come into play later...)

Mat Kearney opened before Keane, and drew the audience in for heartfelt show. It was a special night for Kearney as he released his new CD "City Of Black & White" on that day as well. Watching him tell his stories of faith and friends by means of guitar and solid band behind him, it was as if I was watching a young Bruce Springsteen about to break through. As he closed the set the crowd stood to their feet and gave him a standing ovation.

I've been to a lot of concerts, I have never seen that happen before.

We then made our way to meet him and get an autograph and a picture. It was chaos as the crowd surrounded the singer/songwriter, we pushed through the crowd and got our autograph and picture, and even a little more. I thanked him for a great show and said keep writing great music, and he was very humble and gracious.

As I shook his hand I said God bless you, and he looked me in the eyes and said God bless YOU. It was one of the loaded statements, that communicated much more than words. I can understand why God has blessed him.

As my wife and I were buzzing from meeting Mat, Keane was about to take the stage. It was a brilliant show, and being third row from the stage, just added to the amazing experience. Thanx Ris ;-)

I think what really separates some bands from others is playing with passion and love for music, and these Brit boys have it.

Following the show we decided to hang around and try and meet boys from Keane. After all its my wife's favorite band, and we've seen them numerous times, but never met them. We hung out by their tour bus, and the crew was very accommodating and allowed us to hang around to meet the band.

Tim was the first to come out and was so kind to take pictures and sign autographs and even take time to talk to the crazy fans. We got a chance to talk with him and thanked him for a great show he asked if we were musicians (my wife fav part of the story) and we talked about music. So flattering to hear an accomplished musician ask us that, very flattering indeed. We told him of the time that we drove to Kansas City to buy a Piano (Yamaha CP-70), the same piano he uses in the band. That particular type of piano is very hard to find today. We also met the rest of Keane, Richard the drummer, and I talked about drums, music, sports, and social justice, we seriously got along like good friends (or as the say the UK Good Mates). Tom came out, the lead singer, and Marisa was totally star-struck, it was pretty cute to see.

We made our way back to the parking garage at 12 am-ish in the morning, was shocked to see the garage...closed...steel gate and all, with our vehicle in sight, but out of reach. I reached in my pocket to make a phone call, and wouldn't you know, my cell phone is dead. Marisa had her phone fully charged, but fully charged and in the car. We saw a security guard from the local college, and asked if there is any way to get in the garage. He said you can use your ticket, to open the gate, but like Marisa's phone, that was also in car. Staying cool of course, we asked if there are any hotels around. He said there is one about a mile away, and gave us directions.

Getting ready to walk to the streets of DC to a hotel, he said he could give us a ride. And just call us in as college students from the campus. That was fine with me! We made it to the hotel, and wouldn't you room at the inn. The security guard was nice enough to wait and made sure that we found a place to stay, he told us of another place and we made our way inside. I asked the bellhop, who was an older gentleman, if they had any rooms. He said they had possibly one, and he asked his nephew who was behind the desk about rooms for us. They were sold out as well, but they had one room, it was a conference-room with a bed. We took it! It wasn't that bad at all, even had a TV in the room with the bed. I really started to get an idea of what Joseph and Mary went through. They charged us half price, and we had a nice, safe, place to spend the night.

I got up first thing in the morning to pick up my car in the garage. I walked in, and they asked me for ID and what I was doing, I told them that we got locked out of the garage last night. He said just take the car and have a good day. I didn't pay for parking, but I did pay for a hotel, not exactly an even trade, but Im not complaining. I picked up Marisa, got some Starbucks, checked out and made our way back to York, PA thanking God his grace.

The interesting thing, is that the Security Guard, the Hotel Bellhop and Manager, as well as the Garage Attendant were all clearly foreign, and probably of a different religion. And they all treated us with compassion and sense of brotherly love. As a Christian, it was humbling for me because how often do we treat the Muslim, the Homosexual, the African-American, the UnChristian different than how we treat someone else who believes likes us and looks like us. I want to treat people the way those men treated me that night.

One prayer that has made it to the front of my list, is a pray for favor. As Christians, we need to have favor with the world around us. Abraham and Sarah had favor with Pharaoh, Daniel had favor with the government of his day, and Joseph and Mary had favor with the Inn Keeper. What would the Bible be like if these pillars of faith did not have favor?

Since we felt God's hand strong on our lives that night we wanted our son to have that same blessing be said of his life as well. So we named him Keane, which to some may mean a brilliant Brit-Pop band, but to us it means a life marked by the unusual and unexpected gift of favor.

(Left, Me, Marisa & Mat Kearney at CD Signing)

(Right, a giddy Marisa, Tom Chaplin of Keane, and Me after the show in DC)

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