We were in Miami Florida, facing the conclusion to a six-week tour with Pillar and Tyler Read when Ivory told me he was leaving. About an hour before we would go on that night, I was sitting in the van by myself, what I was doing I can’t recall, and it all ended much like the way it began.
A little while after ivory told me he would be going, he explained that there have only been two other times when God had spoken to him so clearly. When he was younger, he told me, he had clearly heard Jesus tell him “Come and know me”, and he did so obediently. As a junior in high school, he knew that Jesus was telling him “Go and serve me with Showbread.” And he was obedient once again. And now, ten years later, the voice of his beloved God called to him again. This time the words were bittersweet as Jesus told him “Your work with Showbread is finished”.
When we were in elementary school, ivory and I spent most of our time with our friend Paul Carrington, playing “American Gladiator” and laughing at farts. I remember vividly when he was sitting next to me in our ninth grade P.E. class asking me if he could be a part of Showbread. Then, all this time later, it was just he and I again when he told me his time was up.
We don’t yet know the reason why God has called Ivory away from the band. He tells me that one morning during that tour he was up early, spending time with the God he has loved so much as to follow his voice, and to his dismay, that very voice called him to give up what is most dear to him.
When that tour started, I was reading a book by Andrew Murray called Absolute Surrender. One morning in North Carolina I led a bible study in which I asked my band mates if they were prepared to give up anything and everything for the God we serve. I asked myself if I would brave enough to give up what is most dear to me if God asked this of me, not knowing if I could.
Weeks later, God asked this very thing of Ivory.
With tears in his eyes he told me that he did not understand why his time was ending, but he had to follow where his good Sheppard led him, and my heart broke. I had always believed that in the end, I would take the final bow with Showbread with my brothers who were there when it all began.
So the seven of us sat in the van that night eventually, wondering what we would do and what our life as Showbread would be like without someone who had been so important to it since the very beginning. But more so, we were all inspired beyond words at Ivory’s example of loving obedience to his God, whom he willingly follows away from the only life he has known for a decade.
And so, after every incarnation, lineup and change Showbread has ever known, every wonderful day and horrible trial, all the friends we’ve made and places we’ve been, every second of laughter and joy and every incredible aspect of this adventure we have made our lives, Ivory Mobley will perform for the last time with Showbread in May at this year’s Cornerstone Florida. Though he moves on into the unfamiliar and terrifying territory known as “The Real World”, he remains just as much a part of the heart and soul of Showbread as he did when it all began in 1997. And with pain and joy, we press on with a missing member, but with a fire in our hearts to serve our Jesus.
Tae, you are an inspiration to us and we love you with all our hearts.
Josh Dies and Showbread
April 2nd, 2007