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Derek Webb
[ she must and shall go free ]

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SHE MUST AND SHALL GO FREE (2003)
She Must and Shall Go Free - Click to view!Those who have read Hannah Hurnard's Hind's Feet on High Places will recall a scene where the meek Much Afraid is talking to the Great Shepherd about going to the desired High Places. The gentle Shepherd explains to Much Afraid that she cannot enter the High Places unless she has the Seed of Love planted in her heart. She is all too willing to receive the Seed until the Shepherd opens his hand and reveals that the seemingly benign Seed of Love is a hateful-looking spike. Her soul realizes that the High Places are worth any pain the ugly seed could inflict, and she allows the Shepherd to plant the ugly seed in her heart. Derek Webb's She Must and Shall Go Free is much like that seed. It sounds like it will be a harmless CD that focuses on the Church, but in actuality it is a convicting spike that will leave none without a wound. Like Much Afraid, though, you will find that the Love is well worth whatever pain comes.

There are things that could be mentioned about the technical aspects of this album. An all-star supporting cast that includes Jars of Clay, Sara Groves and Sandra McCracken, the musical tapestries of banjos, guitars, bluesy/folksy melodies, or infectious percussion, but all that is dross compared to the lyrics. God has laid a message on the heart of a Houston musician, and Derek Webb is being faithful to tell it.

"Nobody Loves Me" attempts to prepare the listener to what shall follow- "The truth is never sexy / So it's not an easy sell / ...So I don't care if nobody loves me but You." The title track echoes with the voice of Christ declaring for His Bride, "All her debts are cast on Me, for she must and shall go free." There is no time for delicate symbolism and no patience for political correctness on "Wedding Dress": "I am a whore I do confess / But I put You on like a wedding dress / and I run down the aisle... to You." Again the Christ speaks in "Beloved:" "Beloved, listen to me / Don't believe all that you see / And don't you ever let anyone tell you that there's anything that you need / But Me." Lest we get caught up in lamenting the shortcomings of the Church or piously pointing our fingers at those who aren't as bride-like as we consider ourselves to be, the final track reminds us that Christ's heart is still toward His Church: "...I haven't come only for you / But for my people to pursue / And you cannot care for Me with no regard for Her / If you love Me you will love the Church."

Father God, I pray that you will bless this album, not for the glory of men or music, but for the Glory of Your Church. May it be a shower that washes the dirt off of your beloved Bride that you may be honored. Though she is spotted and sinful, Your heart still longs for her. Highest praise to you that you still hold out your hand to us and call us Yours.
- Melissa Miles
July 2003
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