Day 1: Looking for America
Fresno, CA

January 24, 2017 — Jon Foreman

Day one: Fresno, CA

It’s a crisp morning after the storm, with the sunlight illuminating the rainwater in the alleyways. The fellas are unloading the truck for the first day of tour. The theatre we’re playing tonight was built when Calvin Coolidge was president. Intricate and majestic, it’s the type of place you couldn’t afford to build today. So much filigree. So many handcrafted features. So much intentionality.

And as I walked onto this old stage this morning, I began to wonder about the stories that took place here. What performances were held in this old theater? What dreams? What heartache? And the story continues tonight – soon this old space will be filled with new amps and drums and lights, with human souls and songs.

I wonder what will history say about us… Were we kind? Were we hopeful? Were we paranoid? Did we take too many selfies? Yesterday, we the people inaugurated a new president, on a stage much larger and more impressive than this one. But I’m reminded that this little old stage in Fresno has outlasted 15 presidents, World War II, and the Great Depression. It will probably outlast our story, as well.

And when I look into my daughters eyes, I’m reminded of the bigger picture. I see a fire that makes me want to sing a better song; to live a better script. I’m reminded that my time playing dolls with her is more important than any stage I’ll ever see. And in this way, the great human story unfolds – with an open-ended script that we write one day at a time. The office, the kitchen, the gas station; these are places that are every bit as important as any stage in Washington DC.

Tonight we will sing our songs in an old theater in Fresno. And before we play a note, you’ll find me praying for strength. Strength to live out a life of love and service. Strength to sing these songs of hope. Because our world is splintered with fear and hatred and pain. Because one individual does not define a nation, we the people do. Because the cynic is just a dreamer with a broken heart. Because love tells a better story than my fears do. Because hope deserves an anthem.

Categories: Journal

  • Kara Hoel

    Just read this with my family. When I finished my nine-year-old daughter commented, “I liked that.” (She doesn’t make comments like that often!) Our family prayed for Switchfoot, Relient K and America throughout the Looking for America Tour and are continuing to do so during Part 2. See you guys next week in Portland, OR!

  • A. Castellitto

    I see evil sold as good…. I see peace in silence and relativism…. I see atrocity right under our noses and nobody giving a damn. I see people afraid to free the suffering, sexually exploiting children because that would mean exposing their favorite politician. I see the human condition revealing itself in real time and Christians too sold out to stand against the lies and the oppressors…. Because they are afraid of the opinions of men and the natural theology of the apostate.

    • John Trenter

      Great I like that post it that was a great post I thank you for writing

      • A. Castellitto

        I just hope i don’t have to trade living well for remaining silent….

        I’m uncomfortable, I’m awkward… but I look into my daughter’s eyes and my biggest fear is not that she will be bullied or mistreated by our secular world….it’s that she will be devoured….. And that although I knew what was happening and had an opportunity to speak out and tell it straight, I remained silent…. We are blind and depraved and are headed straight to hell… But we are too comfortable to speak out and sound the alarm for fear of losing everything in the here and now….. I’m just too damaged to care about all of that….and maybe that’s not such a bad thing….I’m blessed, but I’m sober. Light shines light on the darkness, in the world and in ourselves…. I don’t fear a man like trump, for he reveals exactly who he is…… My fear is reserved for those whose most deplorable acts are hidden, but we will all be found out


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