It wasn’t what I came for.
I was here for a different book; one recommended by a special person who has a knack for suggesting the perfect book.
The plan was to buy that one book then head home and start reading it before my son got home from school.
I had a hard time finding this book (I couldn’t remember the title or the author) and walked back and forth through the aisles, waiting for said book to jump out.
When it finally happened, it was more of a pull than a jump. And it wasn’t the book I came for.
But once I saw it, I couldn’t stay away. I picked it up and put it down a few times, walked away to find the one I came for, but kept coming back to this one. It was as compelling as a slice of chocolate cake at 3 o’clock on a Friday afternoon; “no” was not an option.
The title, “Walk to Beautiful” was compelling enough. Could there be a more perfect title? I’d have bought the book on that alone.
Walk from where?
Aren’t we all beautiful and aren’t we all, metaphysically speaking, just walking along the road anyway?
Can come with you?
Then the subtitle drew me in further: “The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid who Found the Way”
Oh no, not a homeless kid… I have to read this!
Then there was the cover photo of a guy with a backpack and a walking stick, strolling alone along a two-lane desert road.
Then, “New York Times bestseller.”
It was all too much.
THEN, I turned the book over, only to see a photo of the author, Jimmy Wayne, playing onstage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Okay, forget the other book, I NEED this one.
I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that Jimmy Wayne had a rough go of it in his early years. I do not know if I could come through such times with as much humility and grace as he did, and then write songs and a book, and then walk halfway across the United States to bring awareness to some issues regarding our foster care system.
It’s incredible what Jimmy Wayne has done with his life. The guy is awesome, inspiring. I am so grateful to have read his book.
I waited until I was finished the book before listening to any of Jimmy Wayne’s music, partly because the book isn’t all about the music. It’s about the love that got him where he is.
At the end of it all, I wanted to like his songs. I wanted him to be a good singer. I wanted the music to be as good as the book.
I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed. The guy can sing.
When I finished perusing his website, I shut down my laptop and said THANK YOU right out loud.
THANK YOU to who, or whatever guided me to this unexpected book.
THANK YOU, Jimmy Wayne, for sharing your story and for causing me to examine my purpose as a musician and a human being.
Thank you for reminding me of the foster care children I worked with 20 years ago. They taught me so much, and I hope they have grown into happy people. Thank you for reminding me that there is more, much more, I could be doing to help others.
Oh! And if you ever need some female backup vocals, I know someone who could totally nail it for you in the studio 😉