Facing Hard Time by Looking at the Healer
New music from Casting Crowns is an automatic purchase from me, so as soon as I saw Healer on release calendars, I made a point to get it. I was a bit surprised to see it was going to be only seven songs, but they still brought their usual mix of challenge and encouragement.
This release starts off with two power anthems of encouragement. Up first is “Desert Road,” which is about facing adversity with God by our sides to help us. Then comes “The Power of the Cross,” a wonderful reminder that no matter what is in our past, God has forgiven it.
Next comes “Scars in Heaven.” This is a very bittersweet song, reminding us that the only scars in Heaven will be on Jesus after all the results of sin have been erased. That sounds encouraging right? That was my first thought until I really listened to the verses, which are about a recent loss. The grief is very raw here, and it is enough to make me start crying. While I can see it being an encouragement to some, for me this song is way more bitter than sweet.
“Anything but Easy” brings us to the challenge section of the disc. This song is about love being anything but easy, as we consider witnessing to a great friend who isn’t a Christian.
“Crazy People,” comes next. As you might have guessed if you know Casting Crowns, this upbeat soft rock song is about how the world views us Christians. I love their take on classic Bible stories in the first verse, and it’s a good reminder that’s also a bit of a challenge that we should stand apart from the world.
Next up we get the title track. This is again a combination of challenge and encouragement. The theme is that what this world needs is Jesus, the “Healer.” Why do I say challenge and encouragement? It’s encouraging to remember that Jesus is the answer, but it’s a challenge when I think about what I am looking at to help our country and world instead of Jesus.
Finally comes “2nd Opinions.” I’ll admit, I’m of two opinions about this song. (I’ll take the pun, although I wasn’t trying for it, honest.) I get what they are going for – calling us to return to God’s word and not pop psychology in the world or social media. It seems like a weird song to end the disc with, and the slightly country ting to the song is a little weird as well. I also have to laugh that Pinterest is the only social media platform they call out even though I find much more dangerous stuff on the others. (Or maybe I just use Pinterest differently.)
I’ve been feeling like several new CDs I’ve gotten recently are coming out of the struggles we’ve gone through as a world in the last two years, and that’s the case again here. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it makes the lyrics all the more powerful. These truths are both timely and timeless. Which means I will be listening to the disc for a long time to come.
And yes, while I have a couple of tracks that don’t quite work for me, overall, I know I will listen to the rest regularly. Casting Crowns is one of my favorite groups, and I’m always happy to get new music from them.
If you are also a fan, you’ll be glad you picked up Healer. While I wish it were longer, there is much to think about over from these seven songs.