After a month off…. it’s a new Deeper guest post! This comes from my Hutchmoot friend Ashley Thomas. She’s pretty rad, and I hope you enjoy her take on Andrew Peterson’s new record. Deeper is a quasi-monthly series on the art that moves us. I’m still looking for guest posts… so go here if you think you’d want to do that.
I’m writing this as I’m facing a difficult time in my life. I’m in a state of transition. I’ve felt unstable in a time where most would look at my life and think I’ve got the world on a string… great job, great marriage, all around happy life. Even with all these great things, my world has felt rocky. I’ve not known what to do, where to turn, or what to think. This album could not have come at a better time for me.
Light for the Lost Boy might be Andrew Peterson’s most engaging and versatile album to date. Andrew includes his usual acoustic guitar, folksy rhythms, always complete with hammer dulcimer (which I recently learned is an homage to the late, great Rich Mullins), but changes things up with electric(!) guitar and some serious percussion additions, courtesy of Will Franklin Chapman of Caleb and Will Sayles. Overall, listeners will find this to be a very new sound for AP, but with his signature style worked through the new.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me say this: please forgive me if this is less of a music review, but more of an emotional outpouring of my heart. When hearing the album for the first time, I was on the verge of quitting my job, taking a leap towards writing full time, and feeling very emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. The album wasn’t a band-aid. It wasn’t an instant “cure-all” either for my weary soul. In fact, this album is riddled with sorrow. It was a sign post, a reminder. The sorrow reminded me of how deeply broken I really am, how broken humanity is, and how desperately I am in need of a Savior. A line from the final track on the record, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone,” sums this up well:
Can’t you feel it in your bones? / Something isn’t right here / Something that you’ve always known / But you don’t know why
The pain I was feeling, the indecision, the uncertainty, all wrenched at my heart. I’d wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night, feel sick in the mornings before work, and totally wiped out by the time I returned home. This is no way to live, friends. During times like these, all I could do was cry. “Shine Your Light on Me” spoke volumes to me during this time. I felt the chorus speaking over me during these times and really experienced it fully at Hutchmoot this year.
And the servants of the secret fire / Were gathered there / The embers of the ages / Like a living prayer / And all at once I saw the shadows flee / Shine your light on me, on me / Be a light unto my path / And a lamp unto my feet
As a part of Hutchmoot, I was privileged to take part in the opening show of the Light for the Lost Boy tour. Sitting there in the auditorium with friends newly made, yet somehow closer than many I’ve known for years, I felt the culmination of my healing. The enemy fled at the sound of the voices of these saints, Servants of the Secret Fire, if you will, lifted in praise to our Creator. Their songs brought me healing. Their songs brought me hope. Andrew Peterson’s words brought me the Truth of the Word that my soul long needed and had forgotten.
At Hutchmoot, through tears I mumbled a broken “Thank you,” to Andrew. I hope this is a better thank you than the one I mustered at the ‘Moot.
Oh, but then forgiveness comes / A grace that I cannot resist / And I just want to thank someone / I just want to thank someone for this
Ashley Thomas is The Nerdy Blogger. She holds a B. A. in English Literature from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and will begin her M. A. in English at Mythgard Institute in Spring 2013. Ashley blogs, reads, writes (for fun and for hire), and spends time with her husband, Ryan, and their two cat-monsters, Luna and Oliver.