I’m a sentimentalist. I’m also an introvert. The two probably go hand in hand. For me, the combination means I feel on a deep level. I just don’t always show it. In fact, I rarely show it.
That’s why writing is such a great outlet for me. And that’s why I wrote the three essay books in the Finding Common Ground series.
In “Common Grounds” (the first book in the series), I explored loss and loneliness.
Generally, I’m not quick to talk about either one, but stumbling into a coffee shop that had a motto of “Alone No Longer” prompted me to write about a conversation I had with a friend named Shawn. I made a point about why a particular style of music meant so much to me and Shawn understood. And his understanding chased my loneliness away.
In “Sacred Grounds” (the second book in the series), I reminisced about first loves, first experiences and first favorites.
In it, I said that first love awakens a person inside. Before first love, life is about externals, like fart jokes, baseball cards, and riding bicycles over ramps to see how many pop cans you could clear. At least that’s how it was for me as a teenage boy.
But when first love comes along, it awakens possibility, acceptance, hope, and the strong desire to please and protect the other person. Fart jokes, baseball cards, and riding bicycles over ramps while pretending to be Evel Knievel become childish things of the past.
In “Higher Grounds” (the third book in the series), I wrote about God showing up in the most unlikely of places.
In that book, I wrote about the time my small group at church visited a nursing home to sing Christmas carols.
Doors began to open, and residents peeked out. I kept wondering if we were interrupting somebody’s favorite TV show, but other than during the brief Victoria’s Secret ad (in which the men tuned us out), we seemed to have everyone’s attention. Residents began to wave at us. We waved back and kept singing as we migrated down the next hall.
A door creaked opened behind the woman with whom I was sharing a song sheet. At first, I thought one of us might have leaned against it, but it was just a curious resident. He waited until we were finished singing and then thanked us. One holy moment after another was taking place as the power of music literally opened doors and caused strangers to acknowledge one another.
So you can see why I’m so passionate about these books. The messages in them are the essence of who I am, what I’ve experienced, and what I believe. I have a feeling they will prompt many of your own memories, too.
I’ve combined all three books into one volume and have made it available at a discount. If you are interested, you can pick up the e-book or print version from your retailer of choice. If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’ve read it.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.