You’ve probably heard that if you listen to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz, it’ll seem like they were meant to go together. Their profound synchronicity just seems too specific to be coincidental.

That’s how I felt a couple of weeks ago when some of my coworkers walked across the street for Seattle Pacific University’s Ash Wednesday service while I, behind schedule on several project deadlines, had to stay at my desk. As I worked, I wondered—as many Christians do during the 40 days before Easter—what exactly it would mean if I had gone with them: Would I have been merely reacting to a social media prompt out of a sense of peer-pressure obligation? Or would I have been capable of opening a place in my heart for meditation on Christ’s sufferings, for practicing reliance on God’s provision?

ghosts of highway 20I didn’t have time to think it over, though. The clock was ticking. So I put on my headphones (music helps me focus) and pressed “play” on Lucinda Williams’ new double album The Ghosts of Highway 20, which had just arrived in my mailbox from Amazon.


These songs—they work as perfectly for an Ash Wednesday liturgy as Pink Floyd serves as a soundtrack for the Yellow Brick Road. While my friends had gone to the sanctuary, I went to church with Lucinda Williams.

That’s how my new installment of “Listening Closer” begins over at Christ and Pop CultureWant to read the rest of it?