By Steve Siler
It is a rare thing. But there are certain people you meet where the light just pours out of them. Becky Nordquist is one such person. She radiates the love of Jesus to all around her. She is present in every conversation with a generous, caring spirit that is both uncommon and beautiful.
I say all of this to provide context for sharing our new Music for the Soul release Soft Rain. The songs on this project are all born of personal experience. This makes the paragraph above even more remarkable.
Becky is singing about things she knows first-hand: abandonment, betrayal, sexual abuse, and infant loss. She revisits the pain and puts her heart out on the table so that others might know that they are not alone. When Becky sings of a God who is present with us and will never let us go, she is singing from experience. When she sings about the Savior’s healing tears her prayer is that every hurting soul listening would know Jesus and find healing.
I first met Becky at a house concert I was doing in Rockford, Michigan. Shelly Beach, one of our Music for the Soul board members invited Becky. She told me later she almost didn’t come.
A while before that concert I’d been working in the Music for the Soul booth at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference in Nashville. A woman stopped and picked up a copy of our grief project Drink Deep. After a few moments she looked up at me with tears in her eyes. She then preceded to tell me about her two miscarriages. She told me she was a nurse and was working on a presentation called “We said goodbye before we said hello.”
Once our conversation ended, I turned my chair around, pulled out a blank pad and, right there in the crowded conference hall, wrote the lyric to a song called Before We Said Hello. Little did I know in just a few months I would meet Becky and learn her story of infant loss.
As Becky and I stood chatting at that first meeting Shelly said, “Becky is a singer.” I asked her to send me a sample of her singing and a few days later I sat in the Midway airport during a layover and listened to Becky sing a song about the presence of God in hard times. What I heard was not just a beautiful voice, but a beautiful heart. Something special was shining though. I reached out to Becky and asked her if she would consider bring the vocalist for Before We Said Hello. That song led to a devotional book of the same name and a second song, Heaven’s Playground, co-written by Becky, myself, and Tony Wood.
It so happens that as a young person Becky had always dreamed of becoming a singer.
But the consequences of some poor decisions in her youth had left her believing that her dream was forever lost.
Through Before We Said Hello God began to make that long ago dream come true. At the same time God was using the process to heal places in Becky that she hadn’t known needed to be healed. And as if that were not enough God was giving her a platform and the opportunity to use the pain she’d experienced to be a blessing to others.
As I have listened and watched Becky do radio and television interviews, I have marveled at her ability to be authentic 100% of the time. Recently she appeared at the Gloria Gaither songwriting intensive, mentoring young songwriters on writing about difficult issues. She also shared the stage to lead with worship with Michael W. Smith and Natalie Grant. More ‘dream coming true’ stuff.
Becky would never brag. She would tell you she is a chicken farmer from Cedar Springs, Michigan with an earless goat. And while that may be true, she is also something else. She is a compassionate and passionate voice for the broken-hearted. . . and a lover of Jesus.
Now from that voice comes Soft Rain.
These cleansing drops from Heaven
are the Savior’s healing tears
Flowing to wash away the pain
like a soft, soft rain