Funny story: I know a couple of guys who were in a singing group, at an Arkansas Christian university, when Twila Paris, then unknown, presented a few of her songs to them. As I heard it, the group laughed behind her back when she left, thinking she would come to nothing. Later, many of her songs, such as “We Shall Assemble” and “How Beautiful” and “He Is Exalted” and “We Will Glorify,” became widely known and loved by believers of many stripes. Twila isn’t the kind to enjoy a last laugh, but she deserves to have had it!
Like way too many other Christian believers, Twila Paris recently expressed overwrought, ramped-up concerns over temporal politics, but she is as sincere as the day is long, her character is un-impugned to my knowledege, and her songs point us Godward.
I happened on an old cassette a couple weeks ago — Twila’s Sanctuary album. I put it on. Now, call me a trained musician, and you’ll be right. I was still bothered by her huffy-puffy, gasping, uninflected, monotonous vocal non-style … but I was just as impressed as ever by her sincerity and trustworthiness. Would that more Christian “artists” today could write and sing such things, remaining with us for decades.
I wish we all and could live lives consistent with our worship yearnings. “After all these years,” some may be “still crazy,” but it’s far better to be still worthy.