Reaching out in song

Singer-songwriter Kathleen Fowle doesn’t even remember his name. He was homeless.

She met him years ago in St. Paul, Minn., and their encounter was, in most ways, unremarkable. He didn’t say or do anything unusual, Fowle recalled.

But that day when she looked at him, unexpectedly, she experienced God in a way she never had before.

“I just saw the Lord in him,” said Fowle, “I saw the Lord in his eyes.”

Already a committed Christian, Fowle had been working with the homeless and those in need, prisoners and those suffering and dying with HIV. Still whatever happened — whether it was a mystical experience, a moment of grace or simply a flash of artistic inspiration — changed the way she saw other people, and how sees herself.

Soon she was seeing Jesus in others, she said, and “I began to experience how the Lord dwells in me.”

Fowle lived in Israel for four years and currently divides her time between Nashville and the northeast. She continues to work directly with those in need, but she also responds to the hurt and suffering she sees through her music.

She will perform in concert at Christ Our Light Parish, Cherry Hill, on Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Her songs, which she describes as “Christian/contemporary classical,” are spiritual, not political. They are not songs of protest and indignation, like the kind Woody Guthrie used to sing, but songs of invitation. Her message is that people should turn to God in their suffering.

People have to turn away from anger and forgive, she said. That is a lesson she learned when her father, a military man, was killed. His death, she said, left “a hole in my heart.” “I had to forgive my father for dying,” she said. “And I had to forgive God.”

Fowle’s most recent CD, released last year, is “Coming Home.” The song You Are My God – A Song for God’s Poor, includes the lyrics:

 

There is no journey too long

You can’t help me walk

There are no dreams too large

You can’t help me reach

You are the Lord almighty

In You I place my hope and trust

 

In a Facebook post she writes, “Extend your smile, followed by your hand.  Wherever you live.  Wherever you drive, walk, shop, work or play. Reach. Believe in the One who so generously gives this music and all true art. — It must be for the poor in spirit!”

 

Kathleen Fowle (www.kathleenfowle.com) will perform in concert at Christ Our Light Parish, 402 Kings Highway North, Cherry Hill, on Sept. 21, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free will offering accepted. CDs will be available for sale.

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