Thursday, December 07, 2006

"Esther" Works & Sara Groves
Sings to "Rewrite This Tragedy"

I have no idea who Esther is, this woman in Sara Groves' song from her album THE OTHER SIDE OF SOMETHING.
But I love Esther. And looking at the picture of the bride and groom (Esther and David) moves me, makes me want to cry. Because, as the song says, David is dying. They won't have children. Esther will be childless...but only biologically.

If you have never heard of Sara Groves, then let me say this: She is a talented singer-songwriter, and more than once her lyrics have pushed me to my spiritual knees. Other times, I think, "Oh, what a beautiful cascade of words. And true. So terribly true."

I first "met" Sara when I sampled her CONVERSATIONS cd at the Christian bookstore and immediately dropped it in my basket. It was that wonderful. Her voice is intimate, close to you, as if she and you were sitting and having tea while she spilled musical confessions or wove gently-told anecdotes that touched on important human truths, and God truths. Sara's song are compassionate and personal. She comes by her spirituality and humanity the old-fashioned way, via new-nature and nurture both, spirit and flesh. Here's part of the legacy that shaped her:

Every Thursday night for the last 44 years, my grandparents have gone to the Federal Medical Prison in Springfield, MO, a facility for sick or terminally ill prisoners, to hold a bible study with the inmates. As a rule, Grammie and Grandad never ask the men why they are incarcerated; they just talk, listen, and pray with them.

And so we return to "Esther," whose picture and heart have been shown to me within a cd insert and through a song that's discreetly tinged with South African rhythms suitable to the lyrics. I think one would have to be made of granite not to be moved by her loss and feel warmed by her gain and her mission. Because I so recently posted about AIDS and African kids in need, I offer the lyrics of "Esther":

I have a picture of Esther and David
She is a young bride and he is a soldier
They didn’t know then that David was dying
They wouldn’t have children

Alone with a life time, Africa called
She went for the first time, it grew in her heart
All of the children, all of those children

Now Esther has 2.4 million children
She writes us and asks us to pray for them all

She’s compelled, she’s compelled by what she’s seen
And she tells us, she tells us do anything you can
To help, oh please help, there’s so much to do
And I’m just Esther

She visits her homeland, she fights with her words
She comes to the courts of the kings of the earth
Who don’t understand their inherited power
To answer her question

Such simple lyrics, but when Sara sings them, you feel the human behind the story.

And how I love the humility: "I'm just Esther."

You can sample some of Sara's song at her website. I like this one with these hopeful lyrics:

I'm here to re-write this tragedy
One line at a time
Hold on, I'm changing all the scenery
It's okay we'll be fine
Cause we know how this ends
We know there's a better story

And that sounds like Esther, doesn't it. She's working to write a better African story. God bless you like crazy, Esther, whoever you are.


Suzan Robertson said...

I love Sara Groves. She sang at our church once. She was awesome.

Kathy Holmes said...

Hey, thanks for the pick-me-up. It was great to listen to a new Christian artist (to me) and the lyrics took me to a happy place - nice in the middle of the day.

Mirtika said...

Suz, I hope to see her in person someday. Preferably in a smaller setting that would suit her intimate style.

Kathy, happy to add delight to anyone's day. Of course, it was Sara who did that, not me. :D