CP: I was recently involved with a nonprofit licensed to release one of my artist recordings. They were to benefit from the sales, but I’d also requested that an additional nonprofit participate. The first name that came to mind was Nashville Rescue Mission. Now for any reader who has ever worked in promotion or public relations this is exactly what you hope for isn’t it? You want your organization to be on the tip of the tongue, ever-present in the mind of your supporters and followers.
I’d like to tell you that it was a well-written, humble appeal sent to our home that brought Nashville Rescue Mission to mind. It wasn’t. This time, it was proximity.
“May God continue to bless the radical hospitality of Nashville Rescue Mission.” -Charlie Peacock
In addition to music-making, I paint using acrylics on canvas. As providence would have it, the art supplies store I use is located just behind Nashville Rescue Mission. Once I turn off Eighth Avenue and onto Drexel Street I have to slow down and become more alert. To put on, what my loving wife calls, my driving hat. Nashville’s homeless are in the street and right in front of my eyes. Proximity. Direct connection.
AA: We’ve always had a home. Even when we were young parents with tiny children and couldn’t pay the rent, our basic needs were met again and again because we were connected to a family. My mother would send money. My sister would feed us. And when things got really bad, we were also connected to the state of California. We received help for families in distress—food stamps, medical care, and a stipend. We got through because we had connections.
Many years later, my husband and I had a home in Nashville, a then century-old, renovated country church named the Art House. Ideas of hospitality had grown with our Christian faith, and from our personal experience of being a young family in dire need. So we shared our home in every possible way, including feeding and sheltering young artists who needed a place to stay while they were in Nashville. But there was always a connection—be it family, friends, or music business. But what of the people who didn’t have connections, who had no family, or church, or friendships in the city?
CP: Andi’s good question is one we’ve been seeking to answer as a family since we first arrived in Nashville over three decades ago. One significant way we answer it, is to support the Mission’s redemptive work of caring for the hungry, homeless, and hurting. Toward that end, it is our honor to have a brief moment of your time to make a new connection, create proximity, and remind all of us that Jesus reinvented the very meaning of family and neighbor. May God continue to bless the radical hospitality of Nashville Rescue Mission.