Singer/songwriter David Wilcox has been described as a poet, storyteller, guitar virtuoso, healer, shaman, prophet. For more than 20 years, he's carved a mostly indie career out of pulling back the veil on ordinary life to reveal humor, inspiration, and an extended hand for listeners to join him in wrestling with the tensions of uniting the spiritual and the human. Wilcox has always remained outside the boundaries of the Christian music industry, but his is music of the soul. We spoke with him about his latest release, Open Hand, the church and spirituality, and following Jesus into new peacemaking territory.

You've said people expect music to wake up places in their hearts. What places have your news songs awakened in your heart?

David Wilcox: I love that I never even know what a CD is really about until it's done. Open Hand really came from a conversation with a friend. I was asking him how he was keeping his confidence after he had looked death in the eye. I asked, "Do you feel shaken by it? Do you feel tentative now?" And he said, "No, I feel more alive than ever. I'm just holding my life with an open hand." It reminded me of those times when life gets big and deep and full and exciting. Those are the times when I'm not in the middle of trying to control everything with my clever plans but just feel like I'm swept up in a bigger current. So I love how this record is another series of songs that are showing me sort of what's next for my heart.

Your liner notes say these songs are saying, "Don't get suckered into the lulling comfort of lifeless institutional religion." You're referencing the song "Beyond Belief"?

Wilcox: That song was a humbling wake-up. It definitely was showing me that if I'm choosing safety and the comforts ...

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