Yesterday I shared a brand-spanking new song with our church body, Christ Our Hope. It's called "Everything Moves But You"--I had written about the elusive quality of our dreams and all the things we want more of. Later in the afternoon, I drove to Durham and had the extreme pleasure of making music with Wade Baynham and Dale Baker for the Emmaus Way worship service. We sang about love.
And we sang about the deep Love of Jesus.
By day's end, I was exhausted and...exhilarated. It is an enormous privilege to be given opportunities to collaborate and create and share artistically.
About 16 months ago, I was walking on a beach in Jupiter, Florida, thinking about the music I was preparing to share with a precious body of Jesus-followers there.
I walked alone by the waves and prayed. And somewhere inside that 20 minutes, I felt a distinct compulsion (for lack of a better word) to record the songs I'd been writing during the previous months. I'd been considering the possibility, but only tentatively. I was reluctant to ask that kind of sacrifice from my family without any plan or an outside group backing the project.
I addressed God directly, and said, "Well, you're gonna have to tell Toby." :)
The next afternoon, in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, Toby brought up the idea and said something to the effect of: Yes. You have to do this.
I had no idea what I would do with the project when it was finished. (I had done next to nothing with the Rogers/Wells Project in 2006.) I'd been very comfortably songwriting and not performing (except on occasion) for quite some time. But I had a sense of God assuring me that I really didn't need to know what was next; I just needed to do this thing.
That is what "trust" means, afterall?
Well, that was 16 months ago. The past year since we finished recording "Frame the Clouds" has been an adventure, and I've been forced out of most of my comfort zones, which is, of course, a great way to grow as a human being. ha-- It has stretched me and delighted me, and I believe this is true:
I'm being given more of what matters and must work to cut away that which doesn't.
More knowledge of my own strengths and weaknesses.
More clarity on where I belong, where my songs resonate.
Newfound comfort in my own skin...with my voice as a singer and writer.
More willingness to risk failure. More willingness to risk "success."
Greater interest in other people and their stories...More gratitude for my family and friends.
More excitement about music itself and its God-given capacity to provoke change.
More peace with my own unconventional relationship with the music business.
More pleasure in working as an independent artist.
More Awe of God.
Heightened awareness of inequities on earth and of my own undeserved abundance.
I'm sorting, as I'm sure you are, constantly through my inner "mess." Cutting out the damaged...and the damaging. Following the questions and uncertainties. Realizing bad habits, mixed motives, spiritual idols. Waste.
Isn't that great??
It's important work, this sorting business, and to know I'm not the only one at it really brings me some kind of joy.
I imagine us sitting on an old front porch after dark. Warm summer air, stars hung high, and we're shucking corn and singing about our weariness, crying and laughing over the the days behind and the prospect of tomorrow. Isn't that something?
More community. More Truth. More Christ.
The only thing we can pursue that will. not. move.