Click above to listen to A Beautiful Thing as you read. You can also enjoy the CD, MP3 Album, Piano Book and Sheet Music on the So Loved Album Page. And you can stream the music on Spotify, iTunes-Apple Music, Amazon MP3, Pandora, and more.
What comes to mind when you think of “a beautiful thing?”
When I was composing A Beautiful Thing, I was captivated by both the scene of Mary of Bethany sitting and Jesus’s feet listening, hanging on His every word, and these three words. I began to search for a melody that sang them, and after many hours the song began to take shape. As you listen you can hear the piano singing the five syllables “a beau-ti-ful thing” several times in the opening minute, and then again in the middle of the song. Sometimes this phrase is answered with the notes singing the three syllables “so beau-ti-ful.” Read on for more of the behind the scenes inspiration for A Beautiful Thing, which is the opening track on my 11th and newest album So Loved…
In our heart of hearts, we all have this sense of searching and wanting to know and be known. God created us to long for truth and beauty, to know Him, to sit at Jesus’s feet if you will. However, the enemy, and the stress, noise, hectic pace, and distractions of the world work against us. They prevent us from fully tasting and seeing what a rich, meaningful, and powerful experience it is to sit at His feet, and to really listen.
The music has some slight tension in it, representing the time and effort it takes to get there — to Jesus’s feet — and to begin listening to what He has to say to us. The opening section and its repetition in the middle of the song, represent “getting there.” Then the chorus melodies express what its like to be there, taking everything in Jesus has to share with us — words of grace (patiently and lovingly forgiving us for our sin and proneness to wander), and wisdom for guidance (what He wants us to obey). It was an amazing experience as God revealed an idea and the notes for the ending section of the song.
When we truly sit at His feet, Jesus reveals more to us than we can imagine. The piano begins to overlay melodies that all sing together, with eight hands playing at once. These piano layers represent the harmony of our lives, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all singing together. The song is “a beautiful thing” as we worship our loving Father, sitting at His feet, hanging on His every word. One of the melodies symbolizes the perfume flowing down from Jesus’s head, over and over. Matthew and Mark speak to Mary anointing Jesus’s head, and John speaks to her anointing His feet with extremely expensive perfume. The disciples argued that the perfume could have been sold, and the money given to the poor. Jesus responds saying, “she has done a beautiful thing to me.”
How does this track and its inspiration speak into your life today?
A BEAUTIFUL THING | MARY OF BETHANY
Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 10. Jesus said, “she has done a beautiful thing to me.” When we truly sit at His feet, Jesus reveals more to us than we can imagine.