When I was a teenager my dad Lenny Smith asked my sister Megan and I if we wanted to make some extra money and help him on a construction site job. We both agreed and all day we had to drag roof shingles with large nails in them and throw them into an enormous trash receptor. Hour after hour, we drug these heavy black shingles and the pile never seemed to end. My father stood on top of the roof with a couple of other men and the shingles continued to pour down.
Megan and I struggled but were determined to finish out the day. She continued on working with him over the years along with Daniel, David, and Andrew, but that day under the hot sun was my first and my last. There was no amount of money that could tempt me to get back in there to do that gruesome work.
I tell this story because my dad Lenny Smith is an artist—a singer, songwriter, worshipper who also needed to provide for his wife and five children. Every man and woman struggles with balancing their passions, gifts, and desires with the practicality of life. Often we think that if we aren’t working in our passions full time than maybe we aren’t quite a success. But that is a lie that our mind tells us. We are successful when we simply DO regardless of man’s praise or scorn for our work.
Lenny Smith has written songs to the Creator since his youth. Now in his 70’s I see his plethora of work before him…not simply the hundreds of songs he has written, some more successful in the eyes of man than others, but the work of his hands, providing for his wife and children. His love, provision, music, words, encouragement is the fruit of the beauty of the Holy Spirit within him. This is what is powerful in an artist, not the “mainstream success” of a song. Knowing how to do what you need to do in the style with which you are inspired is an admirable attribute. Lenny has never tried to be anyone but himself. He could never be anyone but himself.
I encourage all of you artists out there to be who you are. Why is it that musicians in particular are so insecure about their work? About being who they are and expressing what they love and what comes easy to them? I never care about sharing a design I’ve created and could care less about any opinions against it, but music….it comes from your soul. It is a deep part of yourself in all of its raw beauty.
Come and enjoy the raw beauty of Lenny’s “Who Was And Is And Is To Come.” All of his five children have come together to support him in this beautiful expression of his heart with Daniel Smith of Sounds Familyre mixing the different voices and instruments into a masterful yet simplistic composition.