Photo: C. Lara
By Naomi Whitney
[Young Professionals | Lincoln]
“Share as much or as little as you like about your songs,” Jeromy casually said to me.
We were sitting in a big open room, waiting for the dwellers of the women’s shelter we were at to gather so we could sing some songs and talk with them.
“Share my stories? What? I don’t have anything that they’ll relate to?” I thought to myself. These women have been hurt and broken in ways I can’t imagine. Forgotten and pushed into the dark corners where people don’t want to acknowledge that they exist because if they did that might mean that this world doesn’t satisfy them, and that this world doesn’t have all the answers, but it will tear them up and leave them broken.
I shared a little bit about my story with these ladies. I looked around the circle and saw tears in eyes and encouraging nods that told me they were listening, and all at once I felt a great urge to defend these women and to tell them about Jesus and how He heals.
All at once I saw the meaning behind The Salvage Project.
Jeromy Darling and Kurt Larsen were in Lincoln, NE for a few days in September. They performed two shows at the Lincoln State Penitentiary, two shows on the UNL campus, and one show at a local women’s shelter. Jeromy invited me to sing with them a few times, and it opened my eyes to the broken and forgotten in my own city.
I asked Jeromy to define what The Salvage Project is about, and he explained, “I created a salvage project in order to bring music into the darkest corners of the country. Any prison or shelter or halfway house or hospital where they would let me come in and play I wanted to play. The goal was to sing and share the gospel with people at the very bottom of the social ladder. When you’re at the bottom of a pit you have only one direction to reach, up, or you die. I wanted to be the rope.”
In a world that shouts at you to only notice the rich and famous and ignore the broken and shamed, I’m thankful for people like Jeromy and Kurt for truly embracing the least, the lost, and the unloved.
Lord, help me do the same in my city, to lay my life down for the forgotten people of Lincoln, NE.