“It is really a collection of songs paying homage to several of the great Christian thinkers of our time,” she explains. Though some of the words may be centuries old – she uses the writings of St. Augustine and St. Catherine of Siena among others -- Sarah gives them a contemporary boost with her own sound, but also one which can be easily done in a worship setting.
“Songs like ‘You Are The Lord,’ ‘Come True Light’ and ‘Renew’ were pretty specifically geared toward worship,” says Sarah. “’Come True Light’ is a favorite because the lyric is stunning, thanks to St. Symeon, the New Theologian, and because it so beautifully works for just about anything.”
So, it not surprising that another song that Sarah is particularly close to is “Restless.” “My life is so all over the place, upside down, and time is so frequently not my own,” she explains. “I struggle, as I know so many of us do, with juggling work, family, faith, and keeping all the balls up in the air. So those lyrics really6 resonated with me...my restless heart, my restless spirit, my restless life and schedule; and my inability to rest until I learn to rest in the Lord. Still...perpetually...working on that one." Then, Sarah adds, “plus, musically it’s my favorite.”
Sarah worked with contemporary writers, also, in bringing the album along. “Rapport with writers of like mind is extremely important, especially on a project like this where the ideas and concepts are of a weighty spiritual nature,” Sarah says. “Dwight Liles and Marc Byrd are both brilliant and can talk me under the table on theology any day.”
Sarah credits her producer, Jeff Thomas, and mixer Richard Dodd and others, for the spectacular sound of the new album. “I am actually half the vocalist in reality Jeff helps me to be in recording,” she claims.
“These guys [including the musicians] are so ridiculously talented. We’ve been friends for so long I feel comfortable telling them what I like and what I don’t in the studio,” Sarah says. “An artist really needs to be able to do that.”
The most important contributors, though, Sarah says, are “my hubby and kids. Family always seems to be left out of the image people have of an artist, which is maddening; I know without a doubt that their contributions and sacrifices are the most meaningful of all."
Though Sarah is very giving when it comes to credit, there is no question that she maintains artistic control -- one of the reasons, she says, that she is loyal to her label, Spirit and Song. “They are so amazingly gracious about letting the artist BE the artist, and that is such a rarity,” she says. “They are attuned to the fact that artists have their own style, and they encourage us on that path without putting boulders in the way.”
With so much talent, and centuries of contributors, it’s no wonder that the album seems blessed. “There is so much great writing out there covering 2000 years of Christian history that has been lost,” says Sarah. “I just wanted to bring a little of it back.”
-- Julie Carr and Nate Lee