Also on Saturday the latest album from Andrew Peterson arrived at my doorstep - "Light for the Lost Boy" (LftLB) available at the Rabbitroom.
Shocker here - I love it. I'm still unpacking it mentally. It is more of a thematic album aimed directly at crossroads. AP has written before about the joy of childhood (Little Boy Heart, Good Confession). Wrapped in that emotional element is the joy in the life adventure before you (Canaan Bound, Nothing to Say). LftLB is written at one of the next life stages - crossroads is the only word I can come up with. Not that AP is in that lifestage or done with them, but it is directed at that lifestage. Counting Stars (especially 'The Reckoning') touched on this theme that now has an entire album putting words to it.
This album touches on the same crossroad as the "coming of age" story. I read The Yearling about 8 months ago and it is one of these stories, and so much more. That point of moving from innocence into maturity. I enjoy this album since this pain never ceases in life and defining it makes it easier to process. Maybe pain isn't the right word.
I don't think we ever stop hitting those crossroads or feeling the heartbreak of people at them currently. Recently I sat with my youngest as some dental work was done. My heart broke for her and yet she did great. It was the pain at seeing the cruel world where teeth rot and pain happens. Dogs kill rabbits; winds shake bird nests from trees and the eggs break; infants get cancer. I hate it and something about it is unfair.
Somehow LftLB walks into the mire of a broken world and exits the otherside without whitewashing the pain, dismissing the brokenness, or being trite. It stands mud-caked on the far shore ready for the washing that will come.
Come Back Soon
This song wrecks me if I let my emotional guard down. Two lines get me -
1) The boy grew up and the yearling was dead
2) and wept for the death of his little boy heart
There is much about this song I enjoy, but primarily it is touching on the paradox of Christian faith. You never move, but I cannot seem to catch you. This stone that can be a stumbling block, a true foundation or you spend effort to move to a better location for you and it remains a rock to build upon not move at my whims.
This is the "radio song" from the album. It may get some airplay and hopefully reaches people in a meaningful way over the FM waves. It is lighter than the other songs on the album which still leaves room for it to be powerful. There was a contest for user videos and this wonderful video won. Warning! it may make you cry. It pulls at the heart strings enough to get you and not so much that it is too sappy. If a star would've twinkled back at the end I would have hated it, the mom pulls through and I'm a wreck.
The Voice of Jesus
This maybe my favorite song. A message from a parent who knows the inevitable heartache that every child grows to experience, and where the answer is.
The Ballad of Jody Baxter
I read The Yearling so I knew the reference material for this song. It is a great story of simple life and getting by. For me it was especially touching as I related to the boy and the father in the story. This song brought it all back and more. It puts words to the real heartache of the story Is there anyway that we can change the ending of this tragedy?
Day by Day
I want to call this the bridge of the album, maybe it's more of the pre-bridge. It transitions from one movement to the other.
Shine Your Light on Me
Another song of AP crafting his heart. It captures so much of the mystery of hope, hope when things are hopeless. They were singing out my song, when the song in me had died.
Carry the Fire
This is from the story The Road, which I have not read. When I'm ready for another book to punch me in the gut it'll be at the top of the list.
You'll Find Your Way
This is a father's message to kids for the road that lies ahead. It is a road that they must walk on there own and I hope/pray that I've prepared them. That they remember lessons.
Don't you Want to Thank Someone
This song is long but it is the icing on the cake. Maybe it's a better thing...../ To be more than merely innocent / But to be broken then redeemed by love
So much reminds me of GK Chesterton -
The test of all happiness is gratitude; and I felt grateful, though I hardly knew to whom.It is a great closing to a very enjoyable album.
Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers.
Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth? -Orthodoxy