Matt and Toby

I’ve been leading worship at my church recently. In the past few months in my musical abilities have reached a point that allows me to move beyond dedicating a majority of my thoughts to the details of singing or playing guitar, which frees me up to think more esoteric thoughts like, “Why again am I up here?” or “Man I could go for an egg McMuffin.” Inevitably a battle ensues in my head and I’m confronted by myself about just how genuine I must be about Jesus if I’m not giving in to a 24 hour a day evangelical emotional high. When I feel this coming on, I start hunting for Matt and Toby. They are an anchor for me, without even saying a word. Matt and Toby are diametrically opposed elements in my spiritual universe, a literal and figurative marriage of the intellectual and emotional ends of human existence, the writer and the dancer. Matt is the quiet, thoughtful, careful writer, who would just as soon live in a cabin in Montana next door to Ted Krazinski. I envy his careful discernment and specifically selected words. Because of his patience, the man sees the world in ways I could only dream. Toby on the other hand is probably the most outspoken being I have ever met. Passionate, fueled by caffeine and fearless passion, Toby gets a rise out of making controversial statements on facebook.

As I sing and play guitar, I hunt their usual haunts until they come into view and shine a spotlight into the tempting darkness, Toby weeping and singing as if the words are really moving mountains, Matt staring at the screen, only sometimes moving his lips, but I know his heart is introspectively bowing to our maker with glorious poetry. Seeing them together  both comforts and challenges me. Matt says, “I know, me too” and Toby tells me I should try dancing a little more. I need people like Matt who let me know that emotion isn’t the end all. I fear but need people like Toby who Jesus uses to invite this pimple faced jr. higher out onto the dance floor. Once at the end of a worship set, she yelled out, “One More Song!” Matt and Toby console and scare me into the arms of Jesus. Everyone needs a Matt and Toby.

I love them both severely and the fact that they’ve left Goshen to return to Winnipeg still chokes me up. I already miss them.

They are the reason I started giving guitar lessons, the reason I'm still writing, and now the reason why this corner of the Midwest feels significantly empty without them.

People of Winnipeg, I hope you realize just what it is you now have in these two.

I hope everyone can find a Matt and Toby.