“Let me be the one that’s crawling with you through the thorns.” | Dustin Kensrue Returns

Yesterday, eight years after his last solo venture, Dustin Kensrue finally released a single. Yes, he had recorded (actually listenable!) worship music, released under his own name, as well as the moniker The Modern Post. And, all thing considered, that work was not only listenable, but thoroughly enjoyable.

However, none of those really served as a follow-up to 2007’s Please Come Home. So when I got a text message from a friend yesterday replete with thumbs-up emojis, I anticipated that the new single was going to be a return to form, which, in some ways, it is. Billboard put it well when they described it as having a “folk framework with a rock backbone.” It’s not a thorough permutation from his previous endeavor, but a distinct enough transformation so as to sonically and lyrically bear the marks of personal and artistic growth. And, as ever, the song’s unflinchingly honest lyrics eschew an idealized vision of existence, and exchange them for a candid and compassionate depiction of the struggle that loving another person entails. Kensrue’s own words put it best:

Much of our experience in this life is defined by some degree of suffering. Because of this, sometimes to love someone well means simply sitting with them in their suffering, entering into that suffering with them without offering hollow aphorisms, minimizations, or easy fixes. And this is true in the big things as well as the seemingly small. Whether someone didn’t get the job they were hoping for or whether they just found out they have three months to live, our love is truly shown as we weep with those that weep.

That echo of Romans 12:15 is no throwaway sentiment; the song’s lyrics illustrate how being a tangible conduit of grace and love for another looks in the mundane and tragic realities of daily life. Obviously, this is only a single, and the full album still has yet to be released, but if this song is any way portends what’s to come, there’s every reason for us to pay attention to it as a concrete and sobering reminder of what matters in a world that is increasingly distracted by the abstract and spectacular.

Let’s hear it again, DK.

https://soundcloud.com/dustin-kensrue/back-to-back

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Originally published at robertsapunarich.wordpress.com on February 11, 2015.

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