Hidden Treasure

One of my favorite bands–Christian or otherwise–is Casting Crowns.  I have been listening to their new CD (The Altar and the Door) for several weeks the way I always listen to CDs–clicking around using the control buttons.  I hardly ever let a CD just play.  Control freak I am, oh-yes-indeed.

Thankfully, a few days ago, I had this particular CD playing in the car, and for whatever reason, I was letting it run its course.

Thank goodness.

Because when you play The Altar and the Door that way, then (and only then) can you hear the track that Casting Crowns has "hidden" a couple of minutes behind track 10.  It’s called "White Dove Fly High", and I don’t quite know how to describe this song to you.  Words fail me.  When I heard it streaming into my car, my first thought was, "Why is Andrea Bocelli singing on a Casting Crowns CD?"

It’s that beautiful.  Haunting.  Achingly exquisite. 

So I ran home, eager to find out the story behind this unusual song.  After a little Googling, I learned that in April of this year, Casting Crowns was invited to North Korea to sing at the Spring Friendship Festival.  They peformed "White Dove Fly High" in both Korean and English.  It’s a prayer for peace.

Now, I’m no scholar of geopolitics, but I know enough to know that a Christian band inside North Korea is a very significant thing.  What must it have been like for that little band of believers to join together in prayer inside a country that has been spiritually dark for so long?

Enough of the story–you really just need to hear the song.  I found this slide show, made by one of the Casting Crowns band members.  It takes a little while to buffer, but it’s worth it.


42 thoughts on “Hidden Treasure

  1. Cindee says:

    I just went to a CC concert last week and I heard this song then. It was the most wonderful concert and White Dove Fly High WAS quite beautiful (as was the entire concert). I really need to get the CD but I was too cheap to buy it at the concert. You’ve motivated me to get it right away! I blogged about the concert if you’re interested in reading about it.

  2. Georgia Mom says:

    How amazing! The song was beautiful and very moving. I watched a 2 hour documentary on North Korea and it’s a HUGE deal for Casting Crowns to sing there. The country is so closed to the west and Christianity. That was the hand of God moving to open a door that’s been closed for a long time.

  3. Princess Leia says:

    What an amazing song. My 9-mo-old just sat and listened to it twice without grabbing for the computer once. And he doesn’t sit still unless he’s asleep or tied down.
    I just emailed our minister of music to see about doing it at our Christmas program this year which is supposed to have an international theme.

  4. Ornery's Wife says:

    Several weeks ago, while preparing a care package to send to my son in the Air Force, I went to the local Christian Mega Store (Mardels) in search of some new music to add to his vast collection. I saw this CD, and saw that it had a free t-shirt with purchase, and decided to spring for it, even though I had never heard them before.
    I decided to listen to it before I sent it, and then had to go back and buy another one for ME! Ornery wears the second free t-shirt, and we get comments everywhere about how much people love this band. It was the first album I loaded onto my new iPod.
    I’m thinking I’ll have to go back now and find some of their older stuff. What a refreshing sound!

  5. Tiffany says:

    I am going to a CC concert in St. Louis next Friday. I am so excited. They really have a way of cutting through the clutter to the heart of the matter on so many issues. I have never listened to one of their songs without being convicted by the words. We don’t have the new CD yet, but are planning on getting it at the concert. Thank you for sharing this song! I look forward to hearing it at the concert.

  6. Heather says:

    We love CC, too! I just bought this one to send to my husband (he’s deployed) for his birthday since they are his favorite! I may have to go back for a copy for myself 🙂

  7. Michelle says:

    Achingly exquisite describes this song beautifully. It never ceases to amaze me how music can touch our very souls in ways that words alone cannot.

  8. Dawn says:

    Andrea Bocelli – that’s exactly what I thought when I first heard it! I hadn’t heard the story behind it before, thank you.

  9. Ashlee says:

    I heard the background story on a local radio here in SC and was just amazed at the courage of this band. I can only pray that I would be as bold as they were, when I am outside my comfort zone. Their story proves that nothing is impossible with God!

  10. boomama says:

    Absolutely beautiful. And what does it say about my control freak tendencies that I’ve been listening to the CD for two months and haven’t heard that bonus track yet?

  11. julia says:

    wow I think it’s amazing they were invited to NK! May God bless their influence and open more doors to that country and its people.

  12. Elaine says:

    Another gem from Shannon…girl, wisdom and discernment must be some of your spiritual gifts b/c you are always sharing some awesome stuff. Thank you! There is such richness in joining together with people of other cultures. This song is just beautiful — even anointed, I feel.

  13. Simply A Musing Blog says:

    I recently read about this…apparently, this is one of many Korean Peace anthems – but the acoustic rendition from Casting Crowns is phenomenal. Thanks so much for sharing….very beautiful.

  14. Sue @ praise and coffee says:

    Wow, love them, love this.
    Reminds me of our trip to China.
    These guys are the real deal. I had a question about a song once so I emailed and the lead singer personally emailed me back.
    They are awesome.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  15. jubilee says:

    This song really stays with you. It has a haunting quality about it, but in a good way. It resonates on many different levels.
    Thanks for sharing this with us. You go, girl!

  16. Sarah says:

    That was amazing! The slide show was fabulous and gave a different side to the North Korea that we see in the media. It really challenged me to pray more often for this dark country that has allowed sparks of hope inside. Jesus can make a difference where impossibility has been the watchword.

  17. Kasi @ ReynoldsRap says:

    I have this CD also. I usually just let the CD play straight thru the first few times until I can pick out my favorites. AND, it got to the last track and after I thought the song was over, the time kept going. I thought I had a broken one or something, and I waited and still nothing happened. Then I turned up the volume! I was so pleased with what I heard! It is such a soothing song! I think I may have found my favorite track of the CD. I also like the one about families not fading in a day!

  18. Sunny says:

    I, too, have had this CD for a while and never knew this track existed. The story behind it is amazing, and I’m wondering why I havnen’t heard more about this until now. The fact that ANY band from the U.S. was allowed into N. Korea, much less a Christian band, is amazing. Praise God, and God Bless the people of North Korea!

  19. Jolyn says:

    Fairly new reader here, first time commenting (I think).
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing something so beautiful, wonderful, haunting and spiritual.
    And hats off to your blog.

  20. Wendy says:

    I just gave this cd to my daughter for her birthday, but I hadn’t heard that track yet. I got goosebumps and choked up listening to it!
    Isn’t it amazing to see how God is working in places you didn’t expect? Wow!

  21. Christine Smith says:

    thanks for sharing this. I saw CC at an outdoor Christian music festival this summer — totally amazing. I was just bawling the first time I heard them do the song that talks about how far the east is from the west…from one scarred hand to the other. Many blessings to you

  22. Redneck Diva says:

    The week I bought the CD was a week I practically lived in my car and was anxious for something new to listen to. The first time I listen to a CD, I force myself to play it all the way through without repeating anything and the first time I heard the bonus track I got serious goosebumps! You’re right, it is haunting. I told the kids I wanted them to hear it and after a minute or so Sam said, “Okay, enough of that – can we hear something in American now?” So while the kids didn’t appreciate it, I LOVE it.
    I didn’t think it was possible for CC to put out a CD as spectacular as the last one, but I think they came awfully close. “East to West” made me sob the first time I heard it. I’m also quite fond of Monk and Neagle’s Twenty-First Time right now – check it out! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  23. Phebe says:

    Hi Shannon. I really hope you see this, as I am a little late reading this post, but I have to tell you how much this post blessed me! That song had me in TEARS!! I grew up in South Korea, and have distinct memories of staring into North Korea at the DMZ (and hearing their propaganda). I even saw it from the Chinese border once (from a little boat in the Yalu river). I’ve been praying for N Korea for years. I know people in S Korea that were separated from their husbands/mothers/sisters, etc 50 yrs ago when they drew the DMZ and have never seen them since–can you imagine? I wrote a short story about this years ago as a teen in S Korea. Reunification with N Korea is definitely a very emotional subject with Koreans–and white girls who are Korean on the inside 🙂 Anyway, God bless you…and Casting Crowns too. Phebe

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