Thursday, September 22, 2011

{Calling Out Your Name}

"I feel the thunder in the sky. I see the sky about to rain. I hear the prairies calling out your name."

I can't say that I have a favorite line from this song that Rich Mullins wrote. Calling Out Your Name is my favorite song that this man of miraculous joy wrote.  When Rich died, I was young. So young in fact that I still was struggling to comprehend what death really meant. But I did know that we were worse off than he. For he had entered glory. And we were without him. I do remember grieving that loss with tears and questions. I was only a newly saved 13 year old girl with frizzy hair and LOTS of questions. And though I did have many questions, I didn't question the songs that this man had written, because of the truth that I felt in the very fiber of my being.

I have probably purchased nearly every Rich Mullins related album that has been released since his entrance to the Kingdom, and I've adored all of his previously released albums (of course!). But still, anytime I listen to Calling Out Your Name, I weep.

Mainly I weep for the earth. Because it's changing so much that we are losing much of what God intended for it. But still, it knows. The wind, the sun, the rain, the glorious, glorious lightning that holds thunder's hand.....nature has always spoken to me. Probably because I'm an artist who can't help BUT absorb the world around her. Cityscapes can speak to me, but never in the same capacity that a storm rolling up the beach would have on me. (Though you must know by now that my love is passionate about the forests and the mountains.)

I've spoken of (often enough) about my affection for the musician, writer, and artist that is Andrew Peterson. Shayna grows tired of me constantly babbling on the genius of his lyrics and storytelling abilities. My cute husband, who never really cares much for lyrics and puts up with my storybook obsession very patiently, listens to my animated recounting of a recent AP song that touched my heart.

I feel very similar in my affections for other artists like Vicky Beeching, Bethany Dillon, and Christy Nockels, but there is something different about Andrew Peterson's music that reaches out to me. I told Jamie two nights ago (when we foolishly stayed up until 2am catching up on the past few weeks of life) that when I listen to AP's songs, I FEEL like I wrote them. I feel like my heart is speaking out and singing THE STORY to the world. (except, you know, when he's singing about his wife. haha. Then, I feel like their relationship is similar to my own lovely story with Nate and I smile and wonder at the friends we might possibly be and how fun a game of Catch Phrase would be)

Anyways, it clicked. I often listened to Rich Mullins growing up and felt like what he was singing was something that had written. His songs would resonate in the very depths of my being and I felt a chorus of angels following me around grinning as foolishly as I.

All this to say...the world just about nearly imploded when AP released his newest LIVE album "Above These City Lights" and the song "Calling Out Your Name" was on it. I just about fell of my rocker. I was up late, just barely crawling into bed, checking the tweets on my phone, thinking about the conversation I had just had with Jamie, and I saw that the album was released on iTunes already. (it was this late in the early morning hours) and I saw Calling Out Your Name on the album list.

I've never seen AP in concert, so I was unaware that he covered this song ever at his concerts. So great was my delight upon discovering that my current favorite storyteller had (published? released?) a cover of my favorite song!

I checked out You Tube for a potential video of AP singing it, so that I could play it for you all. But truly, buy his record "Above These City Lights". Buy 'em all. You won't regret it. (fun fact: his son drew the cover art)

So here, below the lyrics by Rich Mullins, is the wonky, slightly blurred, but still so fun video of AP singing my favorite song.

Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob's stairs
Yeah, they danced on Jacob's stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant's wings
And there's fury in a pheasant's wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith
That can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I've seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever 'til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song
Not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

Whenever I play this song for Wesley, his eyes always grow big(especially when the thunder is mentioned) and he grins just as wide as I. He doesn't know just yet that what that feeling he has seeping in is the spirit of God speaking to the song in his heart, and I pray that he and Spencer will never lose the wonder that is God's beauty.

It's a good song. And I understand that not everyone is built the same. My friends often smile politely as I gasp on and on about the beauty of this song and it's lyrics or that, but I know God made me this way and he knows how I delight in the beauty of his creation, the excitement that comes with pursuing Him, and the stories and the songs that resonate in my heart...

xo, jade

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