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Take a listen to Sara Groves’ newest album, Floodplain, which debuted this month, and you will hear lyrics weave a rich tapestry of spirituality and theology.

I found that the album’s namesake, Floodplain, is a song which walks the listener through realistic Kingdom of God spirituality. The song expresses common experiences that play out when building the Kingdom. It’s like living on a floodplain, “keeping one eye on the sky for rain.” You find yourself closer to life’s painful realities, and, the reality of constant uncertainty.

From the onlooker’s perspective, however, you may seem foolish in your endeavor.

It’s easy to sigh on a high bluff

Look down and ask when you’ve had enough

Or will you have the sense to come on up

Or will you stay closer

But isn’t that always the way? Building the Kingdom of God is antithetical to what today’s conventional kingdoms ask us to build. The risk of danger and loss overwhelms like a rushing river.  Think of the rich young man in Mark who was unable to face such risk. Groves has listeners falling to their knees in recognition of the sheer courage it takes to live closer…

Closer to the life and the ebb and flow

Closer to the edge of I don’t know

Closer to Lord please send a boat

Some hearts are built here

The song’s tension never settles. The listener is left at the end of the song asking the Lord to send a boat. The river keeps on flooding. The forceful honesty of it strikes a powerful chord.

Let the song’s truth sink in deeply for a few seconds. Sit with the life experiences it spotlights. Then, move to the album’s next track remembering there is always Enough…