Song Speak: Undivided

Guest ColumnistCommunity News

by Curt Crawshaw & Matt Woods

It is exhilarating to be in a church community that is being drawn together by the Lord. Our individual lives are knit together evermore intimately by the Spirit as we, the corporate body, come before God’s throne united. It was in this spirit, and with personal joy in God’s recent works here at SBCC, that we were inspired to write a song of devotion to this great God. Using Psalm 86, almost verbatim at times, we echo the cry of King David for freedom from duplicity.

Psalm 86

1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me,

       for I am poor and needy.

2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.

      You are my God; save your servant

      who trusts in you.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;

      no deeds can compare with yours.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,

      and I will walk in your truth;

      give me an undivided heart,

      that I may fear your name.

It’s powerful to hear the congregation sing “I am poor and in need… teach me your ways, O Lord.” As we together admit our emptiness and dependence on God, we ultimately come to the quintessential conclusion, “Lord, you alone are God!” When we as a church body sing together in one room as one voice to our Lord, we unite in a unique way. The cry of our individual hearts and voices intertwine to create a harmony that has less to do with music, and everything to do with the created communing with their Creator.

Our desire to be undivided works powerfully on two levels. First, individually we feel the desire, just as King David did, to be wholeheartedly committed to our Lord. Christ says, “You cannot serve two masters” and yet we are constantly distracted, and enticed away from our focus on God. All too easily we are drawn away from what is most valuable only to chase after prizes of finite worth. It is therefore a great blessing that God has not left us in isolation to muster our devotion alone. We are called into a great multitude of sons and daughters of God. And it is within this context that the second sense of being undivided resonates. We long to be undivided as the body of Christ. As we are faithful and obedient, we become united together by the Spirit. With God’s recent work in joining our SBCC and Trinity congregations, we have all seen the glory revealed by the Spirit’s unifying power.

It was a great pleasure to channel the excitement and joy of this community into the creative process of songwriting. After the idea for this song sparked on a bit of melody and a rhythm, the lyrics came out quickly. Fueled by our love for Folk, old Gospel, and unpolished Country music, the prayer that is this song took form over a dry acoustic guitar riff and a shuffled snare drum.

As we approached the recording process we knew we wanted the sound to be uncluttered. We never had to struggle with its musical direction. Early on it strongly showed us the direction it wanted to go and we were just along for the ride. The strings were added to augment the organ for power and suspense creating a vibration that feels like it’s coming from inside your own head. It’s alive and right there. It was a joy to work with all the other musicians who played a part in the recording of this song. The process itself exemplified the undivided theme of the material. We are blessed and humbled that many in the church have received and accepted the song.