The Beautiful Not Yet by Carrie Newcomer

Available Light Records, 2016

(There is a companion book of poems, prose, and lyrics reviewed here.)

The Beautiful Not Yet CD Cover ArtIn the swirl of rhetoric that has reshaped politics around the world, there are voices of faith that offer a calm aura of hope and peace. One such voice is found in the gentle and encouraging songs on Carrie Newcomer’s new album, The Beautiful Not Yet.

Fans of Carrie will instantly recognize the mellow alto’s voice and ringing acoustic accompaniments. The lyrics will bring the listener into a space of contemplation, for she takes the tumultuous times we live in and reframes them. As she says in “Help in Hard Times: “I am learning to walk with grace in the dark. I am learning to trust and to lead with my heart.”

My first listen to this album was during the commute between my hospice patients’ homes. I was reminded that there are many points of light and joy in a world that seems so dark and inhospitable to the people of God. We hold on to “The Slender Thread” of our faith and hope, because love always calls us back. Always.

As she points out in “Haunted,” many of the accusing “ghosts and wraiths” that linger in our minds can be left behind. We can face down old “dragons” and move forward with our dreams and goals. And we can do it by welcoming one another into places of “Sanctuary,” being a safe refuge for those who can no longer cope until “the world feels safe again.”

The song that continues to speak to me is “You Can Do This Hard Thing. For many of us, there are tasks that crush the spirit and make getting up in the morning feel impossible. Where it seems there is only barren and muddy ground, Carrie reminds us that “new life” will appear.

Where we stand breathless
And pressed in hard times.
Hearts hung like laundry
On backyard clotheslines.
Impossible just takes a little more time.

It’s a gentle reminder to all of us that “You can do this hard thing.” This is an album worth adding to your collection.

Carrie Newcomer’s Website

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© 2016 by Christian Feminism Today

Rev. Deb Vaughn
Rev. Deborah (Deb) Vaughn is a professional chaplain in the Washington, DC area, where she lives with her husband and young adult daughters. Besides music, her many interests include public speaking, photography, and blogging. She bakes a mean loaf of bread. Deb is an occasional gardener and an avid Ohio State football fan. Occasionally, she even catches up on the laundry. Check out Deb’s blog, An Unfinished Symphony. (photo – Eileen Gannon)


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