PLAY: God Makes Messy Things Beautiful
I wrote God Makes Messy Things Beautiful in early 2011, knowing I had a ton of songs for a new record but only a couple with gospel content, and I thought one more would be about right. My pastor at Midtown Fellowship in Nashville often reminds us that the Kingdom is made up of messy people, and I’ve found hope and deep joy acknowledging my own messiness (selfishness, double-mindedness, faithlessness, etc.) before God and experiencing the real freedom of his forgiveness in Christ in my day-to-day life of relationships and responsibilities.
I wrote the chorus wanting to bring that idea to the family conversation, and then wrote a few verses that I never liked. Over the Summer I asked Andrew P if he’d write some verses, and he dug it and wanted to give it a try, but in the end he ran out of time (honestly, I don’t know why he couldn’t find the time between touring, making a new live AP CD, writing book 4 of the Wingfeather Saga, running the Rabbit Room, preparing for Hutchmoot and being a super dad and husband).
I decided to record it anyway, without verses, at the very end of the studio time, and Ben Shive waved his studio magic wand and built the track out of samples from all the other songs. Randy Williams (Ben’s Manager and a killer guitar player in his own right) stopped by and we got him to sing the gang vocal with us, and I sang and played Wurlitzer and Ben played piano and B3 organ, but everything else (sax, drums, bass, tambourine, ect.) on that song is harvested from other songs on the CD. The do-do-do melody happened on the fly, and Ben said it reminded him of the Doobie Brothers, whom I love, so we kept it and it became the pseudo-verse.
Both the feel and the theme made God Makes Messy Things Beautiful the perfect opener, especially for a record with ‘Under Where?’ in the title.