Every once in a while I get an email that is quite understated. Here’s one that came a few weeks ago:
“Doug, one of the board members in my motorcar hobby association is Bernie Leadon, founding lead guitarist of the Eagles. They are playing at the Inglewood Forum this week and next, and he has set aside 2 VIP tickets for next Wednesday for me and a guest. It also includes 2 back stage passes. Would you like to go with me? Just a thought. Should be a great show.” Bill Schertle.
Would I like to go??? Would I?! I told Sarah the news…and let’s just say we were able to get an additional ticket and backstage pass. It was an unforgettable experience. We were ushered to Bernie’s dressing room, where he greeted us warmly. Bernie really respects Bill and truly appreciated Bill bringing his pastor and wife. After some conversation, Bernie asked if we wanted to do anything special, and I asked if we could walk backstage and see his guitars. (I was thinking I might get some pointers for playing with the Fabulous Edsels!) So he took us backstage where we saw racks and racks of some of the finest guitars I will ever lay eyes on. They were not only for Bernie but for Joe Walsh, of “Hotel California” fame, Glenn Frey and the back-up band. Beautiful! (Sorry for all the exclamation points!) Most of the guitarists played a different guitar for every song. We also met the guitar technicians who care for the instruments and saw the whole backstage set-up with the lights, computers, video equipment and so on. Afterwards we went back to Bernie’s room and “hung out” until about 10 minutes before the concert began. We met other members of his family and had a relaxed time. We were then ushered to our seats in Row Six, just to the right of center stage. I have never had such seats before—and never will again, I’m sure. The concert was a blast—in more ways than one—and we felt a connection that really enhanced the whole experience.
The next day I wrote an email to Bernie to thank him. I said, in part, “Last night was a great illustration of grace for me. Mercy is not getting what you deserve (like when I am guilty for doing something wrong, but don’t get punished). Grace, on the other hand, is getting something you don’t deserve. There is no way Sarah and I deserved the VIP treatment we got last night. We “coat-tailed” on Bill’s friendship with you. And you accepted us. That’s a lot like God’s grace toward us. I am not ‘preaching’ here– just letting you know how deeply it touched us.” Bernie wrote a very thoughtful reply, and we’ve actually corresponded a few times since.
There are many grace-gifts in our lives every day, but some certainly stand out—like this backstage, behind-the-scenes experience. Thanks, Bill. Thanks, Bernie!
See you in Church, and keep reading The Story.