Andrew Peterson’s warm and nuanced vocals wash over—and drill into—your soul. His use of space and arrangement to evoke myriad moods shines on Light for the Lost Boy’s mostly acoustic, gentle yet dramatic folk/rock. Gifted with the unique ability to speak to our deepest hopes and longings, Peterson shares the unedited version of faith in Christ—paradox, pain, and all.
Peterson’s explains “…my main hope is that folks will feel less alone, and most of all that something in the songs will wake them up to the reality of God’s presence.” He does this in a curious way. In his bittersweet stories, he delivers the bad news: We live in a fallen world, a world of decay, entropy, loss, death … unexpected tragedy … replete with terrible—and beautiful—contradictions. We’re all lost boys and girls. But the capper: we have been found. “Come Back Soon,” the opening track, reminds us of the cry at our core—all creation’s groan for Christ’s return. Next, “The Cornerstone,” inspires glorious terror recounting progressive encounters with the unmanageable, paradoxical God. “I saw you there but it was too late to change my course, And I collided with a beautiful immovable force…”
Peterson encourages us with “You Can Rest Easy” sung from God’s perspective. We’re reminded that we don’t need to prove ourselves, hide, or work so hard. God loves us and isn’t going anyplace. “The Voice of Jesus,” is set off from the more guitar-driven songs with a delicate piano, played with childlike simplicity and aching sensitivity, accented with sweet quavering strings. Its light carries one through the next songs of lost innocence and wistful remembering. “Day by Day” calls to the Peter Pan in us all:
Don’t lose heart
Though your body is wasting away
Your soul is not
It’s being remade
day by day by day
The dramatic, sobering yet ascendant “Shine Your Light on Me” and “Carry the Fire,” (the latter perfect for adventurous congregational worship) sets up “You’ll Find Your Way,” Andrew’s words of wisdom and encouragement to his son, and God’s word to us: “go back to the ancient paths.” Finally, “Don’t You want to Thank Someone,” gives you a grid to interpret the conflicting feelings and experiences of life and leave you with hope.
Every little boy grows up
And he’s haunted by the heart that died
Longing for the world that was
Before the fall
Oh but then forgiveness comes
A grace that I cannot resist
… And I just want to thank someone for this.
More: It would be good to hear more of Peterson’s pure unsanitized gospel … and refreshing worship in our churches.
Less: Time. Jesus, come back soon.