I don't live in the third world, but the place I live can seem pretty darn close. Twelve years ago, I stepped off of a church bus onto the pavement of inner city Memphis. Little did I know, it would be a week that would change my entire life direction.
When I look around my home now, it looks like a war zone. It is desolate and forgotten and broken and oh so very beautiful. I know that Jesus is here. I know because He is the One that invited me to come, too.
It is so very rare to find any kind of art that expresses the state and need (and hope!) of the inner city, and while I know it might not have been his intention, singer/songwriter, Shaun Groves has managed to nail it. With his album, Third World Symphony, I am reminded song after song of why I have given up my apartment in the suburbs with two cars and free time to come to one of the most devastated, violent places in the country.
While songs such as Come By Here and Down Here express more than just a big-picture glimpse at what hopelessness and poverty can do to a place, and the songs Sing and Kingdom Coming express the battle cries of those fighting against such things, there is also present on this album the expression of deep heart things-- inward things necessary for the Kingdom of God to be built.
So, do yourself a favor, find yourself a copy of Shaun Groves' Third World Symphony, and pray for your heart to match up with God's.