Lord Have Mercy—My Dad and My Son-in-Law in a Makeshift Recording Studio
Yup, that’s my dad and me. Dad bought that motorcycle a few years ago because it’s an exact replica of the one he and my mom rode on their first date in 1948. Sixty years after that first date, my mom (age 78 at the time) said her riding days were over and she’d never get on that “new bike.” But she did, as I knew she would. (In her own quiet way, she’s as gutsy as he is). Now, at 82, Dad doesn’t ride that beautiful bike much anymore, but on occasion he still takes it for a short spin.
I love that youthful spirit in my dad. Yes, sometimes it manifests itself in overly adventurous (some would call it wild and crazy) ways, but there’s another dimension to Dad’s youthfulness that I love even more than his penchant for a young man’s toys. At a stage in life when many people refuse to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, my dad is doing all three: he’s perusing the Internet for new information, he’s becoming more self-aware emotionally, and he’s seeking out new spiritual mentors (the same way I do—through books). While I’ve seen this willingness to grow fuel Dad’s energy for life, I’ve also seen it humble him. He’s becoming increasingly comfortable talking about his past mistakes, his few regrets and, yes, his sins.
So when my son-in-law Aaron asked my dad to record Psalm 51 to be used in Aaron’s latest New Liturgy CD, I knew Dad would do it. I knew he would resonate with the words of a contrite heart expressed in Psalm 51. “Have mercy on me, O God,” writes the Psalmist, “according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
Lord Have Mercy is the third in Aaron Niequist’s New Liturgy series designed to help us create holy space wherever we are. Lord Have Mercy is a 25-minute blend of music, scripture, guided prayer and space that draws the listener into a hauntingly beautiful experience of reflection, self-examination, repentance and ultimately, joy.
As with each New Liturgy, you can download Lord Have Mercy at anewliturgy.com for $5. Aaron is also offering a super special deal called a Digital Mega Bundle, whatever that is. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been a wholehearted fan of A New Liturgy since I listened to Aaron’s first pre-release cut. But I think #3 might just be my favorite—and not just because my dad’s on it!