In the Spotlight

Today’s artist is someone I don’t know a lot of her music, but from the first time I heard her song The Word, I loved it.  And then I saw a video of her song I Saw What I Saw, I really liked that one too.

It’s not often I find an artist with such a heart for missions and activism, and yet remains dedicated to singing songs of life and salvation.

Sara Groves does it.  The song I Saw What I Saw was actually her experience when she went to Rwanda a number of years ago.

Your pain has changed me
your dreams inspire
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of love

I can understand and identify with her words, “I sometimes feel God puts harder subjects on my heart…”   While I’m still struggling to put what God puts on my heart to posts, she’s willing to put herself out there walking the talk. Whether it’s going into a refugee situation to help feed the hungry and love on the people, or working with  International Justice Mission to advocate for victims of human trafficking, which she’s done for the past 12 years.

In between, she writes music which reflects the suffering and hope she witnesses. But also singing songs of her own questions, gratitude and meditations which so many people share but can’t put into words.

Sara started writing songs at the age of four, and by junior high school was writing songs from what she’s described as a lonely childhood and other things that deeply effected her.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in history and English in 1994 from a private Christian university in Springfield, Missouri and spent four years teaching high school in Minnesota before recording her first album, Past the Wishing, in 1998. She took song writing courses as she grew out of her teens, and then later at her husband’s prompting, began taking music and writing seriously.

Since her first album, she has released nine additional albums and appeared on several others. Groves has been nominated for three Dove Awards including New Artist of the Year in 2002 and Special Event Album of the Year 2003 by the Gospel Music Association. She was named one of the best Christian music artists of 2005 and the album, Add to the Beauty, was named Album of the Year for 2005 by CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) Magazine.

Still a giver at heart, Sara, her husband, her father-in-law, a neighbor, and a Minneapolis ER doctor delivered a tour bus and trailer load of baby supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrinain in Slidell, Louisiana in 2005.

She and her husband teamed up with Brandon Heath and other Christian artists in September and October 2008 for the Art*Music*Justice Tour to benefit both the International Justice Mission and Food For the Hungry, both organizations she’s been involved in.

After being part of the line up for the December 2008  Love Came Down Tour: A Christmas Pageant she put on a free concert at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, the same prison her grandparents had been involved in with ministry.  Of that concert, she observed, “More than anything I wanted to say something of encouragement, something to remind these men that they are the art of God, especially in this place. Like always, I left encouraged myself.”

As well as humanitarian missions, writing her music and performing, she’s also an accomplished author and with her husband created the “Art House North”, a place for all artists to gather and enjoy performances.

Here’s the song that started it off for me, to learn more about the lady behind the beautiful voice and different kind of sound with words which are as true and valid now as they’ve always been, with a modern look at how too many Christians consider The Word…

I hope you check out more of this gifted lady and find her music as inspirational as I have.  Have a blessed Sunday all!