Modern Psalmists

June 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

The ability to lyrically draw forth the deep groans and gratitudes of the soul is somewhat miraculous. It’s genius. It’s a gift that’s been given to mankind through mankind for centuries. It’s likely that humanity would find itself in far worse condition if it weren’t for the gifted men and women who seem so beautifully synced, so profoundly connected to the crux of life and soul. They’re bestowed with the transcendent ability to translate into language the very things that are beyond language. They’re soul-language interpreters.

Bringing Order to Chaos
I often find it difficult to discern the topsy-turviness that typically defines my internal world. The confusion. The pain. The disorder. It paralyzes. It triggers flight rather than fight. It morphs me into distortion. But then, in a random, yet seemingly orchestrated moment, my ears tune to the expressions of a particular psalmist, and it’s as if I’m known for the first time. The spin-cycle within slows. Equilibrium manifests. Desire for beauty, for life, for truth… returns. I want more than evolutionary chemical reactions. I want life. The LIFE.

Some of the best psalmists aren’t Christians…. or are they?
We have incredible modern psalmists in our midst. Many of my favorites aren’t Christians. Acutally, I couldn’t tell you what they believe or what faith they have, but they don’t fit the typical box of Christian genre/categories. Yet, no matter their beliefs, they’re undoubtedly gifted in soul extraction – in nurturing life in the valley of the shadow of death. Their struggle within springs living waters without.

There’s one particular group of psalmists that have given expression to my soul for the past decade or longer. Their compositions and lyrics turn my groans into prayers. Into acknowledgments. Into the recognition of need. Into humility. They stir the desire to move from distortion to wholeness.

Recently, I re-stumbled upon one of Linkin Park’s psalms. It powerfully gives voice to the mess I wrestle with. But the mess, I believe, is universal. Universality is what transforms song into psalm. I can imagine many of the men in the Bible lamenting this tune, starting with the first man, Adam. Yes, I can hear him now – crying out with the driving guitar licks and the hip-hoppy percussion at the end.

Check out Linkin Park (or Adam, or me) pour out the psalm in the video below:


If you’re up for it, share which modern psalmists impact you the most in the comment section – and why. Share some of their lyrics if you like.

Note: This post is a precursor to a series of posts I’m writing which will be called the “I Am” series. Stay tuned…

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