A few months ago I went to a concert here in North Carolina with some friends. Matthew West was the main performer. I had no idea what to expect because, to be honest, I had never heard of Matthew West. I didn’t expect to be moved to tears. I didn’t expect to be impacted. I didn’t expect that the music would touch me. I didn’t expect that the awakening of the fires in my own heart for something I’ve been thinking about for the past 10 years since I was writing my own story there on the plains of Africa. But it did.
Matthew West, Christian singing songwriter, decided that instead of writing more songs about his own experiences and journey he wanted to write from the stories of other people. He had asked his fans to start sending him their stories of God’s testimony in their lives, stories of brokenness and transformation. He was blown away by the number of responses he received- over 10,000. So, he took the stories and secluded himself in a cabin in Tennessee for two months. He spent those months reading their stories, grappling with their issues…and from these stories he wrote these songs. At the concert before each song he read the story of the person who inspired the song. Stories of tragedy. Stories of victory. All stories of hope.
There is power in a story. Stories make speak to what’s real. Stories allow us to participate with the Greater Narrative. Stories change us.
Check out Matthew West’s site to hear the stories of the songs. Better yet, buy the album.