Matthew West....wow. I went to his concert Tuesday and it filled my mind with thoughts and my heart with inspiration.
I didn't realize how much of an honor it was to celebrate the launch of his new album, The Story of Your Life.
You see, I grew up with him...well, I'm a few years older but who's counting?
I'd been keeping up with his success through our parents, occasionally hearing a song as I was skipping past KLOVE...thinking "HEY, I know that guy!".
Facebook has also been a good way to kind of sit back and watch. I read as he asked his fans to submit the "story of their lives" to serve as his inspiration...
I kept up on his time away in the cabin, sorting through the letters and writing music...an occasional chuckle at the mention of the cabin mouse. Admittedly it was pretty cool to watch the process he was going through.
Now here's where I have to be honest.......I thought this was just going to be like any old concert, except with a heavy dose of religion, which as most people who know me realize, I am not completely comfortable with. This is not the same guy who sang in church and bickered with his younger brothers. This was a Matthew West, the Christian singing sensation who comes along with a full band, lights, fog, a touch of glam.
Maybe the concert made such an impact on me because faith in general has been a big struggle for me. Its something I tuck away in a box - you know- to deal with 'later'. Every once in awhile I take it out, think about it... struggle with it, and put it back in the box. I know some of you understand what I'm saying.
I have yet to figure out why, but going to church always brings a lot of sadness to me. I have to admit people talking alot of scripture and things related to it- make me a little squirmy. Don't get me wrong- I admire people who have a strong faith. I want that. I have just been on a loooong road to find it.
I used to say "I have anger issues with God". My sister died back in 1996; and never being able to make sense of it, I was angry. Ironically, it was actually Matthew West's dad who came over shortly after she passed to comfort my family. His church is really the only place I've gone at all in the last 15 years. I remember my dad angrily shouting "Is this YOUR GOD??!" I may be paraphrasing but it was so full of anger. So, that is where what I call my "religious regression" began. Its really just the last couple of years I have decided its time to move on.
Its exhausting keeping my faith in a box. At the same time, I don't think I have to go to a Sunday service to illustrate how I feel or what's in my heart. I'm still trying to figure out where to go from here. Sometimes I wish there was a 'religion for dummies' book that would allow me to get caught up on my options.
I am way off track from where I've started. The purpose of my post was to point out how amazing Matthew's music is. Creating music is just another form of art and I know that's why it is one of the few things in this world that inspires and touches me. I truly believe I'd be hard pressed to find someone who CAN'T relate one of his songs on the new album. He took stories from his fans, and wrote about their life circumstances.. and turned them into music that has the ability to touch and change so many people. These are real people, real stories. People who have faith regardless of the circumstances in their lives. As he was saying, we all have a story.
I know I have a lot to think about.