Kristian Gautier and Meredith O'Harra--the singing/songwriting duo known as The Lowly Heirs
--have parlayed their spiritual experiences and ponderings into their music. The result is organic, raw music that draws comparisons to All Sons & Daughters, Mosaic MSC and the Torwalts.
The newly released self-titled album
is chock-full of deep lyrical themes, so we asked The Lowly Heirs to share the thoughts and inspirations connected to each of the album's songs.
"May I Run"
"May I Run" encompasses the verse Hebrews 12:1-3 that says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Our Creator who gives us daily breath, came to the earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, and died on a tree for the sake of you and me. He is alive today! As you read this, Jesus is tangibly alive at the right hand of the Father, and is interceding on our behalf. This is a miracle that should rock your world.
This song was something I wrote a couple of years ago in college as a prayer and declaration of who Jesus is in my life. How the Lord is faithful when we aren't, how he loves us with an unfailing, unconditional love, and how He gives us true life in His presence. We know that at the end of the day, our race to run is worth the fight and struggle, and our prize as a believer is to be in communion with Jesus. One of my favorite lines in the song is "You called me out by name and made me a new song." Jesus sought us out and chose us. He knows our hearts personally and intimately. It's such a thing to rejoice.
"Love Has Won"
"Love Has Won" is a declaration of the Gospel and the victory we have because of the death and resurrection of our King Eternal, Jesus Christ. It was inspired by a sermon from my pastor, Ryan Sullivan, on the inexpressible worth and holiness of our God. This song depicts the heart of mankind toward its Savior, the transformation of the soul who knows God, and the heart of heaven. (Isaiah 6:3; Micah 5:2; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8)
"Sanctify" was written in the hardest, yet most rewarding season in my spiritual walk with Jesus. This song was a declaration to the Lord, a yearning for his presence in a hard time as a believer. Growing up can be a difficult thing. We go through seasons, struggles, relationships, and God can significantly rock our world. He gives, he takes away. He closes doors, and He opens others. He reveals idols in our life. We know one thing is for sure, that in these difficult times, our God cannot be shaken and He remains constant. We can rest in His perfect plan for us, because it was planned before we were born!
As I wrote this song, I was thinking about how far Jesus has brought me, how Jesus has taken me through the "roller coaster of life" to continue to show me His grace, how He has softened my heart over the years to His Word, how He has given me the desire to worship Him and know His heart even more. The process of sanctification is a necessary and exciting thing as a believer. This everyday relationship of repentance is something hard, yet beautiful. The Lord knows our innermost being (Psalms 139:13 says He knit us in our mother's womb) and knows what is best for us at that specific moment in time.
I love the verse 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that says, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." We know that Jesus is coming back to get us one day. We know that our fixation is on the hope of His return, on the hope of Him rapturing us into glory one day. On the hope of Him stepping His physical foot down on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. So this song a declaration and a cry to the One who is coming to get us, and for us to be aware and living in a way that pleases Him. Our obedience is important because He says we are known by how we obey His commands.
Throughout this short life we live, we are called to live life abundantly and to not be bound by the chains of addiction. We have freedom in His grace! Jesus came and lived a perfect life because He knew we couldn't ourselves. He died for us because He loves us and wants an intimate, personal relationship with us. The Gospel is such an easy, beautiful, yet intricate thing that He reveals to us more and more each day as we seek Him. This song is also for the unbeliever. To encourage the one looking for that hope in a Savior. To knock down the chains of hardship, addiction, and pride, and to focus our attention on One who will be with us every step of the way and transform our life into something beautiful!
This the most personally significant song on this album to me. The plot behind the story shared within this song is heavy and wrought with sorrow--though God did not leave it this way.
I was living overseas a few summers ago as a medical missionary and spent several weeks providing healthcare in rural slums and medical centers. During my time there, I built a life-changing relationship with a woman and her son. These lyrics are the raw, verbatim conversations that took place between the woman and me, and God and me. Hence the title, "Informal Exchange."
A few weeks into my trip, I was serving on a pediatric unit. It was my first day helping take care of an unresponsive 5-year-old boy who contracted bacterial meningitis. His mom was standing anxiously at his bedside when I walked over and place my hand on her shoulder, "Ma'am, can I pray for your son?" Quickly she nodded and I began to pray. The next day, the same thing happened. On the third day, I walked up to his bedside and before I could speak, she grasped my hand in both of hers and asked, "Will you pray to Jesus for my son?" I stumbled with joy over my own thoughts--the wife of a Hindu priest just asked me to pray to Jesus! She realized there was something different about the God of the Bible.
As the weeks went on, this process continued daily and the Gospel was shared. However, our hearts were deeply troubled over the worsening condition of her son, who was pronounced half brain-dead by this time. I had pleaded with God for weeks, begging Him to heal her son miraculously and reveal Himself. I will never forget sitting on the ground with her at his bedside, both downcast with eyes sunken from tears and exhaustion. I walked out of the room that night and made a straight-line to the chapel. It was dark, but the windows let in just enough light to see the keys on the piano which stood in the back of the room. As I began to process everything, my heart poured out this song. In that moment, He spoke a peace incomparable over me.
I remember hearing, almost audibly, "Meredith, I am here. My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Much higher." I was reminded over and over again of the immense love and supremacy of our God. I was reminded about the sacrifice and suffering that Jesus took upon Himself for the sake of love. I was reassured of His sufficiency as my Father, my Lord, and my sustainer.
After a couple hours of praying at the piano, I felt the Holy Spirit impress on my heart, "Go back to her." Walking back into the room, I saw her leaned over her son reading a small book. As I walked closer, I realized it was the New Testament. "What are you reading?" I asked. She exclaimed, "The Bible!" I questioned, "Why are you reading the Bible?" She turned the book over and with her brown eyes piercing through mine, she replied, "Meredith, you have loved me like a sister and cared for my son. I want to know the Jesus you serve."
The song Exodus--which means a mass departure--was written in a time when I was uncertain of God's plan for me. I think we all have ideas and dreams built up in our minds that we strive after. These become dangerous and misplaced when we find ourselves hoping and resting in anything apart from God. This song was inspired by my life verses Luke 9:23-25, which says, "If anyone chooses to follow Me, he must deny himself and take up His cross daily. Whoever saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What profit does a man gain if he gains the world yet forfeits his soul?" When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are saying, "I willingly lay down at Your feet my hopes, dreams, life, self, everything for the sake of Your glorious Name." With this surrender, I had a moment where I faced a mass departure, an exodus, from the plans I built for myself in order to trust and follow God's leading.
The process of dying to ourselves is not easy. That is why it's called dying. It is often a painful process. But the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf, making our needs known to God. (Romans 8:26-27) He delights in knowing our hearts because we are His treasured children. Our identity is secure in the fact that we are His, not in our jobs, families, friends, or the fading lights of success and fame this world likes to dote in front of us. We are His, and that is enough to eternally satisfy our souls if we are willing to allow ourselves to delight in God as He rejoices over us.
When I think about heaven and all the glory we will experience there, everything the world has to offer seems very dim. We were all enemies of God, but now have the opportunity to be a home for the Holy Spirit to take up permanent residence. The light of these truths is that things which once burdened us to carry and mountains we were daunted by are crumbled by the victory we have through Christ Jesus. We can rest in the hope we have in Him because He has always held and will forever continue to hold us firmly in His righteous right hand. All He has for us is good. (Isaiah 54:10; Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).
"I Will" is a love song I wrote for my fiancé. It is about the journey of life--mountains and valleys--and our pursuit to know God and make Him known. Love is painted as an ocean throughout the song. I found this appropriate because the ocean is vast and deep with certain areas not yet searched or discovered. The waters are sometimes calm, sometimes tossing and turning. They are also as far as we can see.
Love is not a variable, it is an unconditional constant. It is easy to love when we are in shallow waters and everything is going just as planned. However, society tells us that it is alright to terminate marriage when it is no longer convenient for us. This was a way for me to convey that regardless of circumstance, I will be by his side and God will lead us as we trust Him with our present and future.
Wherever we feel God calling us, we mustn't hesitate to listen and obey. Like Peter, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus--when He is our goal--we can step out of the boat with full assurance that He will carry us and bring us into His presence after our time on earth is complete.