Audience of ONE

We’re little children toiling like architects in our sandboxes crafting temporary structures, scratching and scraping all day,

pouring out our hearts with blood and

sweating out our souls into this work until it’s perfect

or until there’s nothing left in us.

Then, when there’s nothing left, we step back with pride to see what our love has made

and we’re glad to see the finished product soaring before us!

It’s something!

Despite its imperfections, we’re proud

and  anxious to share it

so we run, barefoot in the streets, calling out to you—wherever you are

“come and see what we made!”

“Come and see what we created out of the dirt!”

It was nothing before, just sand, bits of paint, scraps of words…

it wasn’t pretty at all, but look at it now!

Now, it’s something.

We made something where there was nothing before and we want you to see. We want you to like—no, we want you to love it.

It is our work, our blood, our soul…

our work…

but it is incomplete without your approval.

The artist needs an audience–

even if it’s just ONE.

 

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Cover Photo credit: pixabay.com

Jessica Reedy: from Bitter to Better!

I had the pleasure of hearing BET’s Sunday Best star, Jessica Reedy sing this weekend and I was struck by her testimony as much as by her voice.  Her voice, clean as a country breeze, blows right through you. When she drops down into her lower register you think she’s going to slip off of the note like one would slip on a wet floor—maybe not a fall—but waver slightly, yet she holds it steady, rests there for a while until we all feel the mourning in our stomachs.  Then she lifts us, gently, with each verse, out of the dark and heavy place, higher and higher until the clear tone and sheer volume urge us into the light where she—and we—find relief from pain.

Effortlessly her voice pulls us along as her song bears witness to the abyss into which she had sunk—when the accumulated hurts and disappointments built up a wall of resentment around her, then inside of her, shutting out the offenders, but sealing in the hate. Until, one day, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and didn’t recognize what stared back at her. The scowling face of a monster born of bitterness startled her to the reality that she had been buried alive—trapped in a tomb with the skeletons of her past and the corpses of relationships long since departed. Broken by the revelation, she crumpled to the floor with the words of this song floating in through the rain:

…in your pain lies a blessing
A sweeter song of victory
So keep walking n’ walking n’ walking
Though it seems so far.
No matter who you are…

It’s alright, dry your eyes, send a prayer
To the skies. I know it’s hard to fight
But you must believe
That it gets better…

Jesus took me in
He held me close
Gave me love
Refilled my heart
Helped me grow
Better…

Life it can leave,
You so bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter
But you must believe
That it gets better, better, better, better

 

Her words and her music struck a chord in me…perhaps you too?

Reedy released her debut album From the Heart in 2011, is featured on a 2013 Light Records compilation album, Unplugged, with James Fortune and JJ Hairston and dropped her second album Transparent in 2014. Despite some initial set-backs and a first runner up finish on Sunday Best in 2009, Reedy seems to have found her rhythm.

Hear for yourself the power in this voice and keep your eyes and ears open for more from this rising star!

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