In 2011, I recorded a CD called Unleashed, and if you know me or follow this blog, you've heard something about that.
The whole process was a strange ride, a sort of biopsy out of my life, especially my interior, spiritual life (which has always had characteristics of a three-ring circus).
I had an urgent sense of a call to do the recording, a strong desire that flamed up, and a boatload of questions and worries that just dared me to wrestling matches. My interior questions were bad enough, but my biggest objective concern was, of course, the cost. Even with the reasonable studio I found, the budget for recording and duplicating was not going to be chump change I had lying around. I told the Lord one day that if He really wanted me to do this, He would have to provide the money. The following day I had an unexpected rebate check from Ford in the mail. It wasn't enough to cover costs, but it was significant enough to get my attention. I was assured that God knew what He was doing.
So I proceeded in faith.
My ducks began to line up, and I even began recording.
Two weeks after we began, my sister Bonnie died rather unexpectedly, although she had been suffering from cancer and complications for some time. Several weeks later it came as another surprise to me that an amount of money was coming my way from her. It was more than enough to cover all the expenses I eventually incurred with the CD.
After the CDs arrived (the official "release" date was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes -- more on that in a bit), I had a little flurry of having friends buy them, selling them on-line, and happily celebrating what had been a significant stretching for me.
Not long after that, those of you who follow this blog might recall that I hit what I can only call a spiritual dark night, and among other things quite frankly I could not even listen to the CD for about a year, let alone think much about it.
But before all that happened, and while I was recording, I did invest a lot of prayer into this whole thing. The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes timing was significant to me, because it seemed that there was something about healing here. I prayed always for the conversion of those who would listen, and for their healing.
Also, during this "dark night" time, I began to be convinced and convicted that selling these CDs was not to be primarily how I would go about getting them where they needed to be. It became clearer to me that Bonnie's death and the money that funded the recording was by no means incidental. My sister, who was mentally ill for most of her adult life, was well known for being generous even to a fault, and gathering up things only to give them away. I became more convinced that I should give the CDs to anyone who wanted them.
Recently I began to see that the time has come for me to take a fresh look at this whole journey, and to ask the Lord again what He wants. It is no great burden to me to have these CDs in my house, but I realize if the Lord wanted me to do the project and give them away, then they do not belong to me and I need to find where they do belong. In praying and discerning and talking with people, I have decided to offer these free of charge to hospices, to those who work with the mentally ill, with grieving families, to those suffering illnesses, to religious orders who minister to those who so suffer, to those who use recorded music in therapy. And really, to anyone else who simply asks.
I will still make them available for sale so that those who want to help fund postage to these other people can do so. (Amazon and CDBaby sell them, but if you buy from me directly they don't get a cut.)
I am beginning to work through some contacts I have in these areas, but I would be greatly pleased to hear from anyone with further leads for me. Anyone who wants to hear the album to judge if it is something you want can do so at my Facebook page or at my website.
If you would share this post generously I would appreciate that too.