Art & Vulnerability

I’m amazed at how vulnerable I feel as an artist when I create something that others are meant to experience.

I wrote a quick song last night, very roughly/poorly recorded, and swallowed hard as I played it for some friends who came by my office today. They loved the feel of it, but I still felt like a little kid approaching that moment when you look to see if they’re being nice or being honest.

Even at 40, though known primarily as a worship-related writer, my first love of writing thickly poetic songs is still hidden as I avoid exposure to others. Yet, those songs say what I want to say in the world more deeply than any pop-lyric.

The Church must feel like that, too, sometimes. Groans can only express the beauty we often taste in responding to God’s approach – like flowers bursting in myriad colors from a cold stone.

I think that deep down we don’t want to be laughed at, or be seen as attempting to be something we’re not. It’s the PoserFear.

The tenderness in that area of our hearts must be a gift, at the same time it feels as though it’s a curse.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.