Wounded Healer, A Divorce Observed – Part 3

Introductions matter.

In the exuberant craze to dive into a book or novel, we tend to negate Authorial intent and blow past a book’s Introduction and Foreword. Especially in more recent publications, they can be tedious and self reverential – thanking Jesus, the author’s Mother, and the myriad behind the scenes contributors who deserve enumeration and praise from the Author’s research. They can be the literary versions of Academy Award speeches.

However, in the best written Introductions and Forewords, Seminary taught me that the author’s narrative arc of the book is usually contained in the Introduction. Skip the Intro and you miss the Author’s whole line of thought. In the Introduction to Henri Nouwen’s The Wounded Healer, he explains:

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Pieces Go Missing

Screenshot from the video for “Snow” by Sleeping at Last

The day before December began, my grandma slipped into eternity. She’d spent 100 years here on this globe, and was ready to see her Jesus face to face—and for that we are filled with joy. But we will feel the lack of her. We will miss her guidance, her prayers for us, her love.

The next day marked the anniversary of an accident seven years ago that took a beloved friend and mentor from this earth. It was the start of a hard Christmas season. One where tears held their own against joy and laughter.

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Serendipity at Work: An Interview with Drew Miller

Every year, for the past several circles around the sun, the community known as The Rabbit Room has convened in a rich and elaborate gathering known as Hutchmoot. This past Hutchmoot, I was excited to sit down for a few minutes to talk shop with Drew Miller, editor of the Rabbit Room blog and member of the delightful folk chamber group known as The Orchardist.

ADAM: How long have you been editing The Rabbit Room?

DREW: Let’s see, I think it’s been—well, I’ll think of it in terms of Hutchmoots. Last Hutchmoot was my first, and I think I had just started that summer, in July. At that point, I was only doing two posts a week, just to help Pete [Peterson]. As far as managing the blog myself, it’s been since the beginning of this year.

ADAM: Where did you and Pete come across each other?

DREW: A lot of similar circles overlapping. The church that Kelsey and I go to, I think, is where it all comes together. So, Hutchmoot used to be at Church of the Redeemer [in Nashville], and our church is actually a plant of Church of the Redeemer called St. Mary of Bethany Parish. Andrew Peterson and his immediate family started going to St. Mary’s as well, so they’ve been there all the time that we’ve been there. So we got to know them.

And I think it started when the Orchardist had just finished our record, and I was like, “Can you listen to this? Can this maybe be on The Rabbit Room?”

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Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

Editors note: This series was first published at Biblical Counseling Through Song. It is our hope that sharing this journey of heartache and worship with Tom Murphy will be an encouragement to our readers who find themselves in similar situations.

Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was an idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means “help me”. Thank God for the French.

On this first of May—Mayday— I am crying out, “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Help!

I need help.

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A Letter to My Past Self

I see you scribbling out words in the bathroom stall, grinning to yourself about the silly thing you’re planning to do. You doubt it will accomplish anything to give a handwritten note to a musician you admire, but you secretly hope that it will. You have no idea if he’ll read this note, or if he’ll consider your idea to add more female voices to the website he and his brother recently launched. You’re feeling nervous about shaking his hand and looking him in the eye as you hand the note to him, but you’re determined to take this risk.

And here I sit, nearly ten years later typing on a laptop at ten o’clock at night, feeling incredibly proud of you. You have no idea how this one little interaction will change your life for the better. You just can’t imagine how many writers and artists and friends you’re going to meet during the next ten years because of this night. You don’t know if this guy will even read your letter, let alone invite you to submit some of your writing for his fans to read. You don’t realize that in a couple of years you’ll be helping plan a conference for this burgeoning community of creative types from all over America and Europe. You can only dream of having your words printed in a book someday, but little do you know that you’re about to take the first step down a path that leads to this very thing.

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Arthur Alligood: Portage, Vol. 1

 

My first introduction to Arthur Alligood’s work was his stripped-down acoustic album The Shadow Can’t Have Me. The honesty in his lyrics struck me, and I looked forward to his new project with anticipation. Portage, Vol. 1: At the Edge of the World offers more of his lyrical depth with a new musical approach, setting aside the acoustic guitar as the primary instrument and instead moving the songs through a forest of synths, piano sounds, and drum beats.

The EP kicks off with a dreamy soundscape on “Foolishness of Man.” It calls forth the moodiness of quieter Springsteen songs in a way that prepares the heart for lament but simultaneously comforts with a familiar tone. The use of the title as a refrain ending each verse emphasizes the plaintive lament about our culture’s tendency toward judgmental attitudes and actions. The Portage project name comes from the ending lyrics, “I stand here on the shoreline / I will take the portage path / ‘Cause only love will end this hatred: the foolishness of man.”

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