On Labor Day, 8 years ago, my wife went into labor. She's always had a great sense of timing. Makes sense as she's an actor, singer, and lover of all performing arts.
I had just started my first band, "The Killer Hats", and we had to do a little hiatus so I could figure out how to be a dad.
While, I tried to stay active with the Hats, being a dad made it challenging. Especially when the next child came. And the one after that.
But now that my eldest child is 8 and his siblings are 5 and 3, I'm ready to get back into playing music. In fact, I'm already doing it. Last fall, a fan asked to me to play at the church we both attended.
My set lists usually contain songs with all kinds of topics. Some would call it "Secular". But this fan recognized all of my references to Judas and Pontius Pilate and she also hung on to the songs that mention Jesus and God.
I wasn't sure if a church would let me play. And I wasn't sure what I would play. But the seed was planted.
Looking through my repertoire, I recognize some of the most beautiful songs I had, were sad. But I couldn't bring a bunch of Depressing music to church! People go to church to be happy, don't they?
Pushing the sad songs to the side, I searched for my more upbeat, positive tunes. There was some great stuff:
"Sunrise" - a true story written after witnessing the world turn from night into day in a single.
"Living on my knees" - a song about Prayer that felt as rock and roll as Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway"
"Paths in the Garden" - written to encourage people that we are not all made the same and that's the beauty of life. "You were meant to be part of God's garden."
I started putting the tunes together when I suddenly remember a favorite time in my teen years:
Laurna was the choir director at my church and she was looking for some
special music for a Sunday when the choir wasn't performing. She asked if I'd
play something on my guitar.
I didn't know what to play. It was an especially poignant memory because
God and I were in a season where we weren't talking much. But then I prayed
and asked God what I should do.
It wasn't a quick prayer.
Many words came out of me. And I was met with silence. But then I began
to feel warm. A comfortable warm--like when you're just barely starting to wake
up and you're all snuggled in your bed. And then, like a massage on my heart, the
tension I had felt before going to God with my request suddenly melted.
I picked up my guitar and God poured this out of me that confessed how I had
been living in ways I wasn't proud of. It was called "Ready to Wash"
Once I remembered "Ready to Wash" I started thinking about those beautiful sad songs again. I loved those songs--as dark as they were. But I think, maybe, the reason I continue to love those sad songs is because I know how God has pulled out through dark valleys.
What if I could play some of the sad songs at the church show?
(See the exciting next part of the story in the next post!!!)
In the meantime, here's "Ready to Wash" from the finding Grace concert and the new album due out in 2020!