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Wounded -- The Story

I have been through more phases of organized (and unorganized) religion than I can count…a skeptical, then angry ex-Catholic; involvement in the peace and resistance Catholic Left; believer/non-believer. And the way I wound up in the Lutheran Church was hardly typical. My wife Christi was a firm churchgoer her whole life, and always attended Sunday services, back when I didn’t. So one Christmas, when we were pretty broke and I had no idea what to give her for a present, I wrote her a note and promised I would attend church with her faithfully for a year. This made her happy, I’m glad to say, and I made good on the promise. And then something happened.

I found, over time, that it was a good thing to pause once a week, listen to music and to hear (sometimes) a thought-provoking sermon. It was a good thing to use my singing skills on a regular weekly basis. And most importantly, I found a community of folks which provided friendship, company, and common ground. By agreeing to come together – commune, if you will – regularly, they became not only social but spiritual brothers and sisters. So this, I finally realized, was what church was really all about. And it hit me: somehow, some way, I always felt more refreshed and renewed when I left church than when I had arrived. And that was good enough reason to go.

“Wounded” expresses the answer to the question, “So why do you go to church?” I go because it is a place of weekly renewal, where I can often “lay down my burdens.” I am reminded, in the rituals, in the faces of friends, in the quiet mornings that my problems are not so big after all. The formula is simple: I walk in wounded, and I walk out no longer wounded. Well, not as wounded, at least. And the logical follow-up in the choruses is that you could experience this if you choose, and then, best of all, so could we, together.

Recording “Wounded” was completed when my all-star chorus (Rick, Margaret, Kerrie and Matt) came together one evening and added the old-timey harmonies I had always heard in my head. They nailed it, put the icing on the cake, and brought me joy.

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