Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Word About Sara Groves

My son and I love to listen to Christian music in the car.  If I had any quibble about Christian radio today, it's that like most radio stations, they have a tendency to play the same group of songs over and over again.  Forgotten from this mix is one of  my favorite Christian singer / songwriters, Sara Groves.  I honestly don't believe there is a better songwriter in contemporary Christian music than her.  Through her songs, Sara Groves reveals an honesty and a struggle with her faith that most Christian singers prefer to gloss over.  Certainly it's rare to hear such vulnerability, authenticity and a real passion for Christ in the upbeat Pop Christian music that is more surface than substance.

I first came to hear her music way back in 2000 when her hit "The Word" was released.  This was the only song of hers that I've heard on Christian radio, which is a shame since her albums consistently make Christianity Today's best albums every time she releases one.  Her music touches me in a way that most Christian music doesn't, probably because of the fact that it is so personal and conversational.

Her music has so affected my life that one of her songs, "I Saw What I Saw," was highly instrumental in encouraging me not only to adopt but to continue this adoption process.  Even though the song was written about her trip to Rwanda, the following lines had me in tears when I imagined orphans waiting for someone to love them and accept them into a family:

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
(what I am made of)
And what I know of love

I can't help but feel conviction when I hear her sing, "Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of."  I don't know what our child will have gone through before we have adopted him or her, but the thought of a child asking me, "What are you afraid of?" in the face of what they have endured humbles me.  I can only respond by ignoring my insignificant fears and follow the heart of Christ.

When Sara repeats that chorus, she ends it with:

Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
And what I know of love
And what I know of God

Only by ignoring my fears, can I show this child what I know of love and of God.  A God who gave His only son so that I could be adopted into His family.  After that sacrifice, anything I give up to make this adoption possible seems insignificant.

For anyone who doesn't know the music of Sara Groves, I highly recommend you buying her CDs (especially from her website or downloading her music from iTunes or Amazon.  My recommendations on which albums to start with are these three:

1. Add To The Beauty

2. Tell Me What You Know (This is the album "I Saw What I Saw" came off of).

3. Invisible Empires, which was her last CD.

For those of you who didn't follow this blog back when I had the video for "I Saw What I Saw" up, here it is:

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