Posted by Sarah

Meek and lowly, little child
Stains and dirt crease and sear
Scars slash deep so daily keep
Watch over them, my dear

The little ones, the babes in tears
The gentle-wild love and fear
Fierce and hard, so nightly keep
Watch over them, my dear

You but a child and half-grown man
Guard and nourish, follow and steer
When father sleeps, you must keep
Watch over them, my dear

And when the evening seems so drear
And daybreak equally unclear
Rest in Him, who e'er will keep
Watch over you, my dear

Good Art is Hard to Find

Posted by Jesse

However, I've managed to find some lately.

1) In the spirit of the upcoming Christmas holiday, I give you two picks for Christmas albums which diverge from normal fare. So Elated's The Bewildering Light and Over the Rhine's Snow Angels. So Elated has a bit of an emo/indie flair, and some wonderful original songs as well as a good rendition of "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" - one of my favorites of all time. Over the Rhine's album is at turns jazzy and folky, with some incredibly sexy make-out songs as well as songs with piercing, heart-stirring lyrics. They have a version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that can't be surpassed, I'm convinced. And "White Horse for Christmas" brings me to tears of worship almost every time I hear it.

2) Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. I don't think I've read a book I've loved so much for a very long time. This one has immediately risen to the same status I reserved for books like Till We Have Faces and Anna Karenina. The character of this small-town barber who doesn't realize what a profound and integral part he plays in the lives of the people of the town, who follows what he believes is his calling, who keeps an unrequited marriage vow, I felt an instant kinship to both the character and the author who penned him. Wendell Berry is worthy of being one of America's very greatest novelists and storytellers. He reminds me in many ways of Tolstoy, both in his passionate individualism and his adherence to unique, revolutionary philosophies.

3) Shai Linne. Can you hate a Reformed, African-American rapper who incorporates John Piper quotes into his songs? Well, maybe you can, but I can't. I have always secretly liked the sound of hip hop and rap, but the problem is that most artists of this genre are misogynistic, violent men who a) either complain about how hard their lives have been, or b) seduce women by talking about how much their like their butts and how much they want to have sex with them, or c) threatening violence on those who impede their goals or show them disrespect. And those who are not - those who are Christian, often tend to be a) corny, b) shallow, or c) corny and shallow (KJ-52, John Reuben, etc). And white. More often than not. Shai Linne is both humble and theologically deep, and his lyrics are skillfully crafted. Here's a video of him being interviewed. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, the first minute and a half or so are fantastic - they gave me chills.