A few weeks ago John discovered the work of a singer/songwriter named Andrew Peterson and became an immediate fan. I was reluctant to try yet another whiny, Jesus-is-my-boyfriend Christian "artist." But I should know to trust my husband more than that.
Tonight we went and heard Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive in concert and it was good. Really good.
I know that it's partly the fact that he is in life where we are - married for 16 years with several kids - and he writes about it in some of his songs. But he writes about a lot of other stuff, too -- stuff like sin and pain and love and resurrection, about being human and longing for the divine.
One of his songs is called "Dancing in the Minefields" and it's about marriage. Here's a little bit of it:
We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found
'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear
'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you
His musical style - a melange of folk/country/bluegrass/rock - may not be to your liking but his poetry is undeniable.
In "The Magic Hour," the chorus goes like this:
Here at the magic hour
Time and eternity
Mingle a moment in chorus
Here at the magic hour
Bright is the mystery
Plain is the beauty before us
Could this beauty be for us?
What is this voice that sings
Holy and hovering
Over this hill in the still of the evening?
In another song, Peterson talks about Jacob wrestling with the angel and in the morning being "wounded by a blessing." He has lots of phrases and passages like that which could feed some pretty good discussion.
He also has a song about the isle of Skye which has only one verse and a chorus - I wish it was 3 or 4 times as long; it is almost as beautiful as the Scottish island it describes.
We listened to Peterson's Counting Stars album on the way home and decided that while we like the CD a lot, we prefered the less polished sound of the live performance. I guess that's why musicians still tour, right?
If you're curious (and not turned off by my gushing), you can check out his website: http://www.andrew-peterson.com/. He also runs and occasionally contributes to a great arts blog called The Rabbit Room.