When this post was first published it showed up in my reader and I read it. (Wow. Fancy. Exciting. Completely spontaneous, I know!) Shortly after reading and listening to samples I ordered Ben Rector and The Civil Wars. Both CDs I thoroughly enjoy for absolutely different reasons.
And then there was the Sara Groves. Nothing was telling me that run out and grab it immediately and so it sat on my wish list for awhile. Then my Dad died. (Everything seems to revolve around the before and after of my Dad dying these days. I wonder when I won't use that as my reference point.) After being home for a few weeks I started feeling like I needed something. I went back to my wish list, listened again to the snippets of tracks and knew instantly that I had to get the CD.
When it arrived I got it onto my iPod and started listening. Being busy with supper preparations I didn't hear many of the words but was instantly calmed and soothed by the music itself. It was definitely what my scrambled soul needed to hear. I've always been a person who listens to new music over and over (ask my sister how many times I made her listen to specific Celine Dion songs in high school and she may start to puke) and this CD was no different.
The day I went for my first appointment with my counselor was the first time I had a chance to listen carefully to the lyrics. On the 40 mile drive home I felt a strong connection to Mystery. I had just spent an hour letting my broken heart pour open hoping desperately that I might start to heal. I was exhausted. My sister had found her way of communicating with my Dad since his passing and I wanted my own moment. ("I'm trying to bring you here.") But I knew I had to let go, take a breath and believe that if there will be a moment like that, it will come not when I'm clawing at the door trying to get through, but when I least expect it.
A few days later I was becoming more familiar with other songs and it wasn't until I was listening to Open My Hands* as I drove home from dropping off clothes at a consignment sale that I stopped and said to myself, "this might be Jesus music!" As soon as I got in the house I did a google search and sure enough, Sara Groves is a Christian Contemporary.
I don't listen to Christian Contemporary. I have many issues with the theology that many of the artists support and preach. There are many things I feel uncomfortable about when listening to them that I am not even completely sure of.
I went back to the original post I read on Pioneer Woman to see how I may have missed that Sara Groves was in fact a Christian artist while at the same time being completely intrigued by her.
Nobody captures the holiness of the ordinary more beautifully than she does,...Each song is like a great poem that needs to be unwrapped, pondered, analyzed, then put back together again. If you’ve been looking for calm, soothing music that will feed your soul, look no further.And that was what I was looking for. This particular album is more theistic than Christian. The faith she sings of can be applied to so much that is out there. Belief in something out there that is bigger than ourselves, that encourages us to love one another, that helps us work through our hurt, to be open to beautiful things and to believe that we are enough. Maybe that's what I'm more comfortable with it. No get out of jail free card is being promised (Jesus is the answer!) nor is she self righteous. Lately I am often lost and uninspired in my own faith but I know that it is there. I'm searching for my own answers these days and sometimes I'm scared I won't find them. That I won't have any signs to tell me I'm on the right track. I will try to live my life to the best of my ability and grow each day, somehow. And this is what I hear in these songs. And it helps me.
*This link is to a live performance and the fact that it sounds just like the CD makes me respect her even more as an artist.