News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 8, 2012

Dove nominee performs tonight at Terre Haute church

Mark Bennett
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Andrew Peterson, a Dove Award-nominated singer-songwriter, brings the tour behind his new album “Light for the Lost Boy” tonight to Terre Haute.

Peterson and his band will play in Cross Lane Community Church at 2204 Lafayette Ave. The show begins at 7 p.m. with opening act, Caleb.

Doors open at 6. Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $5 for ages 13 and younger. (For ticket information, go online to, or call the church at 812-466-6766.)

Peterson’s 10-song disc reached No. 8 on Billboard’s Christian album charts, and No. 125 on the magazine’s Hot 200 albums. The faith-based collection reflects on the moment when a child growing into an adult realizes the world is a broken place, with heartaches and sorrows. His 2010 single “Dancing in the Minefields” spent 19 weeks on Billboard’s Christian singles chart.

The 38-year-old Illinois native also has authored five books.

He conducted a short, online question-answer interview with the Tribune-Star last week in advance of his local performance tonight.

• Given the farewell-to-youth-acceptance-of-adulthood theme of your new album, how best can an adult seeking a content state of mind balance the nostalgia of their childhood with the realities of that time period?

“I was in a counseling session once, bawling my eyes out about some stuff that happened when I was a kid. I remember the counselor saying, after he heard me tell the story I’ve told myself for years, that he had never met anyone who could correctly interpret their own childhood. I may think I understand what was happening back then, but I just don’t. The story we tell ourselves is often skewed somehow, and we need help to make sense of some of that pain. I had never considered that there might have been another way to see the situation. That was huge for me. It was further evidence that we aren’t meant to shoulder the burden of our pain alone — we need each other. Another thing the counselor said, after I had described a beautiful picture of my childhood town before everything got screwed up, that there was no such thing as a picture-perfect town, or a picture-perfect childhood, for that matter. What we remember isn’t necessarily the actuality — this is a blessing, in many ways, because as children I think we project the longing for Eden, for innocence, on our experience. But the truth is, the world was broken even then. I think the only thing we can do as grownups is to hold on to that ache for an unbroken world, for Eden, and to realize that the ache is evidence that a day is coming when all will be made right again.”

• How does a “Lost Boy” also function as an encouraging dad to his kids? Was that your point of view for your songwriting on the album?

“The biggest mistakes I’ve made as a father have happened when I forgot what it was like to be a kid in a big, scary world. What I want to do is fill my children’s lives with truth and beauty, so that when they’re older and the world stops making sense, they’ll remember these precious years and find their way home. Living out the gospel at home is like imprinting a map on their hearts, so that when they grow old and get lost they’ll know how to find their way back.”

• How can a potential listener unfamiliar with Christian music connect with this album, or in your upcoming performance in Terre Haute?

“I grew up listening to Tom Petty and Pink Floyd and James Taylor, and was largely unfamiliar with Christian music — as least the kind of music we think of today as ‘Christian.’ I’ve never been too interested in making good ‘Christian’ music. I just want to make good music. The fact that I’m a Christian means that I can’t help answering the question of all the sadness and sin in my heart and in the world with the beautiful truth that there is a God who stooped to earth to demonstrate his love for us. But in order to get to that answer I think we have to reckon with the darkness, too. That doesn’t mean the concert or the record is a downer — but I do think that folks who assume that Christian music is all bright and shiny might be pleasantly surprised to hear a fuller spectrum of our human experience represented in the songs. It may sound weird, but I think sadness is one of the most beautiful aspects of real joy.”

Mark Bennett can be reached at 812-231-4377 or