Jennifer Knapp
Jennifer Knapp

How have things changed for you down the years?

Jennifer: I've had to open up. I've had to let certain people into my life and most of all allow God to be at the forefront. I haven't always liked where he wants to go. And I definitely expressed that in past albums. I realised I needed to go through all of those questions to understand grace. When I was writing this record I wanted it to reflect more of what God sees in me. The record gets done and I'm looking at the lyrics and I'm saying, "Wow, there is a lot of peace on this record." There's tenderness.

There seems to be a new compassion evident on 'The Way I Am'. Is that something you've pursued?

Jennifer: I've not talked to anyone about this stuff. You can't go around saying, "I'm trying to be more peaceful," or "I'm trying to be kinder." I've been labouring for a long time because I want those qualities in my life. Be it my own choosing or the choosing of the Holy Spirit, I'll take it any way I can get it. I want to have compassion and contentment in my life. Not only have I prayed for this, but I've also been proactive about it. Funny thing is, I have not told anyone about this, yet people I haven't seen in a year or more have come up to me and said, "What's happened to you? You're kinder!"

Your album contains a pretty unflinching look at the crucifixion of Jesus.

Jennifer: I started thinking about Jesus' hands crucified and his side cut open. Suddenly, it occurred to me he was a human body. I know that sounds bizarre, but I saw it. I understood what it meant for him to lay himself out as a sacrifice. I recently was standing in front of a painting of the dead body of Christ in the arms of Mary Magdalene and Joseph - who gave him the grave - and if you dared touch the oil painting you could feel the muscles on his body. It cemented in me that he physically took on a body, beyond the myth and the great conjecture of whether the Bible was true or not. There are very few people who aren't aware of the story of what happened to Jesus' life. But to comprehend that - not as fantasy and not some story with some elaboration - was an amazing moment for me. I realised I could no longer say that I have not grace. I no longer can say that I am not willing to understand. CR

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