Song Stories: Beauty from Ashes

This is the final post in a series entitled, "Song Stories." For more information about our music and our ministry please visit our website or find us on Facebook (Paxson and Allison).

I had just shared a new song with Allison, which she liked, so I decided to share the chorus of another one. I started singing, "You bring beauty from ashes, turn mourning to gladness..." When I finished she said, "Well, that's interesting because I've been working on a song with a similar idea." She started singing, "Close to the heart of my Jesus..." I really loved her lyric and melody and instantly knew we were on to something. We basically felt like we had a verse and chorus going, but something was missing.

Over the next couple of days Allison wrote the pre-chorus sections, "To the weak and the lonely..." She wanted to be pretty straightforward and raw with these lyrics - no beating around the bush or writing esoterically. She just wanted to put it out there, and I think she wrote some great lines.

We have both become much more aware and involved with issues surrounding justice and mercy since we've been in California. On a number of Monday evenings throughout the year our church feeds and houses around 70 homeless people in our Worship Room and Chapel. Every few months Allison and I sing and share with the guests. We bring our two girls, Laura Camille and Mallory with us so that they, too, will develop an awareness of and heart for such people. We have also tried to raise awareness about human trafficking and are currently seeking ways to fight this injustice as a church.

Beauty from Ashes
Paxson and Allison Jeancake

Close to the heart of my Jesus, close to the heart of my God
Close to the Spirit who leads us, close to the ones that he loves

To the widow and children, the needy and hungry
The orphan who's left on the street

You bring beauty from ashes, turn mourning to gladness
You are the God that we praise
Oh, Lord how we need you, we want to see you
Bring beauty from ashes today

To the weak and the lonely, the one without money
The slave to the sin of this world
To the poor and the sorrowed, the helpless and thirsty
The prisoner who knows he is free


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