Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Mrs. Smith by Anna Smith and Carolyn Johnson

We all have musicians we love. We love their songs, their concerts, and we long for them to go out on tour again so we can experience their songs live. But do we ever think of those who remain behind, keeping life flowing as naturally as possible? Making these 'stars' of our musical universe shine ever brighter?

I knew sacrifices were made, but I never fully grasped just how much was sacrificed until I read "Meet Mrs. Smith", the story of the family behind Martin Smith, former lead singer for Delirious? and co-founder of CompassionArt. His wife, Anna, is one formidable and gifted woman!

Anna's story begins on that horrid night of the car crash that changed everything. Martin nearly lost his legs and the reality of mortality set in. He felt God leading him to more, and the basic idea for Delirious? was born.

For Anna, she believe in Martin's gifting from God, and was on board all the way. But remaining at home, raising a family of six wasn't always easy. Her story chronicles the life Martin left behind every time he began a new tour or recording a new album.

You won't find any bitterness here. Just the plain truth. Sometimes the disconnect between the Smiths was so great Anna had to lean into God to complete the connection. The most telling disconnect was Martin's phone call during the business of feeding the family, trying to share his broken heart over a little girl he'd met in India.

Anna just didn't want the baby to fall out of her high chair and to get the veggies to the table. She couldn't really feel his heart, but sensed something was there that she was missing.

By going on tour with Martin to the poverty ravaged areas of India and Cambodia, Anna grasped his vision for those caught up in prostitution and eating from garbage heaps. She felt the pain of the children forced to hide under the beds while their mothers made money by inviting men into their beds.

And the vision of 'CompassionArt' took hold in each of their hearts, becoming another collaboration of beauty that God gifted the Smiths with...the first being their beautiful family, of course!

In fact, I think my favorite chapters involved the birth of their children. My heart broke with Anna's as she experienced the miscarriage while on the American Tour. But I rejoiced and enjoyed each child's arrival and love, love, LOVE the names picked out for the girls!

Martin has since retired from Delirious? and the band has chosen to disband. But reading about the monumental task of being the woman behind the band front man was a treat and an encouragement to pray for the families of the musicians I love.

I'm giving "Meet Mrs. Smith" five out of five bookmarks with a pacifier as a charm. My thanks to Audra Jennings for my copy of "Meet Mrs. Smith" and "Delirious?" (by Martin Smith).

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