Written by: Laura Chambers (March 11, 2019)
We tend to forget what we fail to commemorate. It’s true of long-ago wars in faraway kingdoms; landscape-altering natural disasters; epic feats of courage. Sadly, it also applies to our own personal experiences. Those who relegate what God has done in their lives to a nebulous past experience eventually forget that He had anything to do with it at all. Blinded by their current circumstances, they instead find themselves wondering where He is and whether He is.
We ought to live in such a way that if anyone wishes to learn the story of our lives, all they have to do is follow the altars. Wild Harbors, the husband and wife duo of Chris and Jenna Badeker, presents their debut album, Monument, at once a collection of memorials and a milestone in and of itself, proving that every step a little further from comfortable is progress.
“Monument” seizes upon moments of temporary clarity of purpose as opportunities to record what we know to be true. We can look back at these permanent markers and remember that we’re on the right track, whatever road God has called us to travel. Chris and Jenna trade lines in the chorus, emphasizing the cooperative nature of the journey.
In “We’re Getting Better” Chris and Jenna celebrate the way their relationship has grown and changed over time. They feel freer to be honest with each other, yet recognize that they still have a ways to go. To that end, each implores the other to be patient with them, and to remind them of their progress when it seems like things are falling apart.
“House On Fire” recounts the way we’re conditioned to respond to trouble by running in the opposite direction. Rather than throwing up our hands and giving up on relationships when they become messy, we ought to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into rescuing and restoring them. The same promise we make in the good times should hold true in the middle of a crisis.
“Abigail” tells the story of a mother pleading for the life of her sick baby daughter, that God would spare her life and help her to thrive. Desperation gives way to faith and gratitude as the years go by and He continues to sustain them throughout their many challenges.
“Come Clean” encourages a whittling down of the many good things we pursue in order to stop feeling overwhelmed by everything we think you have to do or become. By setting healthy limits, we find out how little we really need to be fulfilled.
In “Alone Together”, Chris and Jenna express the fear that like many other couples, they’d eventually become emotionally distant from each other, even as they continued to occupy the same space. It’s the kind of separation you can ignore because there’s more potential for dishonesty, and less chance of doing something about it.
“Water” reminds us that we cannot succumb to the elements unless we allow them to destroy us. We are encouraged not to give up, to ride the waves of adversity rather than let them carry us to the bottom of the sea.
“Battle” portrays an acute awareness that there is a war being waged for our souls; blows are struck in the form of reminders of our past mistakes and lies about who we are. Throughout it all, Jesus continues to encourage us to press on, one step at a time, even as He fights for us.
“Ballad of Wallace and Jessie” tells the story of a man who offered comfort to those fleeing the doomed Titanic the only way he knew how; through the gift of music. That same night, a little orphan girl heard the music in a dream just before she died. The little things we do can echo on in ways we never imagined.
“Tomorrow Morning” ends with a resolution to stop letting fear hold us back from attempting difficult things. Success might only be a day away from coming, so we’ve got nothing to lose and potentially much to gain. We can either try, or stuff our ambition in a box and plead sour grapes.
Lesson learned, altar raised. That’s the simple message of Monument. Wild Harbors finds a prayer or a praise to God tucked inside every story, whether it be from personal experience, the story of a friend, or an anecdote from the pages of the past. We can discover something meaningful in whatever season we find ourselves.
Released: March 15, 2019
Label: 756671 Records DK
- Monument (4:09)
- We’re Getting Better (3:21)
- House on Fire (3:43)
- Abigail (4:19)
- Come Clean (3:49)
- Alone Together (3:41)
- Water (3:43)
- Battle (4:30)
- The Ballad of Wallace and Jessie (3:52)
- Tomorrow Morning (4:46)
10 Tracks, 39:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Wild Harbors:
- Monument (2019)