“Trying to describe the Eternal using earthly words is like trying to scoop up the whole ocean into the palm of your hand. It’s like trying to count every star in the endless midnight sky. All of our words fall so short; every melody failing to capture the true beauty of the Heavenly.” So says Vicky Beeching, a fourth generation worship leader, music prodigy and Oxford-educated songwriter.
“When we write songs about God,” Vicky says, “though we see him in everything he has made, to some degree we are flying blind. With our limited human resources we are struggling to find ways to express something that is heavenly…that is Other. Yet because it is our passion, we can’t remain silent. So we search for words and melodies to describe Him. Hunting and rummaging into every corner of language and expression, raiding the closet of linguistics for a suitable outfit to clothe our feelings in words…we are describing the indescribable. We are ‘painting the invisible.’”
As part of this worshipful quest, Vicky delivers her second full-length studio album, entitled Painting the Invisible. The brushstrokes are laden with theologically rich lyrics and blended with deep shades and colors of emotion.
Produced by Ed Cash (Nichole Nordeman, Chris Tomlin) and Nathan Nockels (Matt Redman, Downhere), with songwriting collaboration from Cash, Matthew West and Joy Williams, Painting the Invisible finds Vicky rediscovering her love for the warmth of the piano. In fact, several of the songs for the new album were written on Keith Green’s old piano, at the invitation of her mentor and friend, Melody Green.
It was there, at Keith’s old piano, where Vicky wrote “Join The Song,” a joyful, modern version of the ancient liturgy known as “The Doxology.” Vicky remembers the birth of this song, “Seated at Keith’s piano, I felt a powerful awareness that the man who played these keys years ago, now is lifting his voice in the eternal song of worship in heaven. Sometimes eternity feels far away, but in that moment it seemed like just a breath away…so close I could almost reach out and touch it.”
Other songs touch on the theme of heaven and eternity. “Suddenly,” a majestic string-laden track describing the second coming of Christ, “Forever More,” an upbeat celebration of our unending relationship with God and, “Hallelujah What A Savior,” a worshipful anthem with some unusual chords and a lyric describing Jesus stepping out of eternity and into time to save us.
Worship, though vertical, need not be impersonal. Vicky attests this in the album’s closing track, “Twenty Six Summers,” a powerful, personal testimony of her lifelong walk with Jesus:
“Through 26 summers and 26 winters, I’ve laughed in the springtime, cried in the rain. Though I’ve questioned the meaning of some of life’s seasons, It’s true they’ve left me holding on tighter to you”
Alongside the emotion and honesty of the songs included on Beeching’s sophomore release, is an unusual depth of insight, also seen in “Everlasting Arms” a ballad about our need to be embraced into God’s perfect love.
Holding a Bachelor and Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University, Vicky has spent long years digging into God’s word. This foundation shines through in her lyrics and gives her maturity beyond her years. Raised in a charismatic and Pentecostal church background, she holds a dual passion for “Spirit and Truth" - the Bible and the Holy Spirit working together in harmony. She is a unique mixture. An Oxford educated, spirit filled Brit – perhaps best described in the words of Gordon Fee as “a scholar on fire”.
But for Vicky, recording an album is just the tip of the iceberg of what it means to be a worshipper and worship leader. She holds a strong belief that our offering must be far more than songs. That God calls us to live a lifestyle of worship. Quoting passages from Isaiah, Amos and Malachi, Vicky describes that God is looking for the kind of worship that is practical as well as musical. “He asks us to reach out to the poor, the needy and the broken - this must be the overflow of our times of singing. It’s time for us to put our lyrics into motion, our intentions into application – our worship into action.”
This mission-focused heart is part of Vicky’s inherited DNA, passed down to her by her missionary grandparents who spent the better part of their lives sharing the gospel in Israel and Zimbabwe, Africa. Stories of their missionary adventures of salvations, healings and miraculous interventions where God kept them from danger and death captured Vicky’s imagination as a child. But more importantly, their impact taught her the importance of living everyday for the Kingdom of God.
For two and a half weeks in the summer of 2006, Vicky traveled to Lima, Peru, with Compassion International, to spend time among Compassion International’s many projects in that country. What she experienced there deepened her commitment that worship is inextricably linked to mission, justice and social action. Inspired her ministry experiences in South America and her family legacy of missions, Vicky has launched worshipinaction.org, a web-based organization encouraging a generation to live out their praise in practical ways.
Over the past few years this quest has led her into prisons, nightclubs refuge homes for abused women, and low-income churches that could not afford to bring in paid musicians. “The worship God delights in is when we reach out,” Beeching says. “It’s not enough to just sing about something. It has to get practical. Lets move beyond our church walls, beyond our comfort zones, and see what God will do,” she elaborates.
With just one listen, Christian music fans will love the beautiful piano melodies and musical hooks on Painting the Invisible. Worship leaders will be drawn in by its substance and singability, and listeners will find its joy and vulnerability compelling. The songs are the powerful overflow of a ‘scholar on fire,’ living with one eye fixed on eternity and the other on poverty and injustice, and is one of those rare projects that reveals an artist coming into her own spiritually…emotionally…in every way.