Meeting the Maker
A Chat with Chris August on Heartache, Hope, and the Healer
By Sarah Komisky
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.”
– Job 42:5 (NKJV)
There are journeys in life we must take. Ones we never expected. Ones that challenge us. Ones that are painful but in the end ones that make us better because of them and the One who walked with us through it all. Musician Chris August has taken this journey filled with solemn hues of brokenness, affliction, and sorrow that turned into joy. This is the journey that opened his eyes to the Maker in whom his gratitude lies and songs which are dedicated to Him.
Launching his 3rd full length album entitled The Maker in April, August released 11 songs that reflect on the process of coming out of trials. With transparency and passion, the singer was able to recount injury, addiction, and depression sprung on by a serious skateboarding accident that left him with a brain bleed and swelling but even deeper emotional repercussions that were even more crippling.
“I was on pain medications for about four months and let me tell you when your on pain medication for that long and when you stop from trying to take it you’re not going to want to because it makes you feel awesome and it makes a lot of pain go away and all of sudden your body gets addicted to it,” August says. “Every time I would try to stop taking it I would get sick and so I had to deal with an addiction to pain medication and slowly wean myself off that only to get diagnosed with depression and had more pills for that three months later.”
Finding no healing in the medication, August cried out to the One who could deliver him while on tour with Big Daddy Weave. On that night Jesus met him and healed him completely stating, “It didn’t come with asking the Lord, “Oh Lord heal me and see you later you know?’ It came with me intensely pursuing after Him. If there was a distraction I would just put it to the side and say I can’t handle that right now even if it was something normal that you would do. It is a big testament to His grace and His mercy and definitely His healing.”
Choosing to string threads of hope in his songs, tracks like “Muddy Waters,” an artistic expression of the struggle through depression, “He’s Still Here,” the second single to release on Jesus being praised for being Healer, and “The Maker,” a love song to God His Creator that reflects his heart on the subject. Originally not making the list by his label, August would advocate for this song because of its significance in his life which eventually became the title track and single which he states, “I am glad that I went with my heart on that one.”
“He’s the Maker of it all. He’s the Creator. He lives inside of us and that blows my mind. I like reminding people that He is legit. His creation is insane!” he exclaims. “It’s easy to get caught up in creation and yet this is where He sent His Son, His One and only Son here, earth, for His people and I hope that the song can remind people that yeah He is majestic but my goodness, He loves you so much!”
Highlighting the beauty of relationship and love found in Christ, August includes three love songs entitled, “Superhero,” “I’m In Love With You,” and “Something” that talk about the importance of guys stepping up as a spiritual leader and protector, celebrating godly romance, and pondering God’s design for marriage confessing, “I think there is a void of healthy love songs in our world.”
August later went on to say, “It’s like people sometimes put this line that I think is kind of ridiculous because you have to literally be Christian or it can’t be listened to and if you turn on mainstream pop radio and turn on the TV and watch some of these pop acts it kind of breaks my heart because of how inappropriate it is. Why not have some love songs? People are going to get married one day and people are going to have a boyfriend. Have a song that’s appropriate that you can have fun with or think about ‘I like that person’ or ‘this song reminds me of that person’ and nothing is wrong with that. So I like to bring a little bit of that to the party.”
Among other difficulties, August also experienced the loss of his beloved Grandma to which he wrote the song “Paradise” to help process grief, encourage others who have lost loved ones, and to also honor her legacy as a woman of faith. Looking back with fondness and gratitude for the person he credits for getting his silliness from, August chooses to think on the good memories he shared and desires to have the same legacy of faithfulness as she did.
“There are not a lot of songs about death and I think because we’re scared to write about it because we don’t know a lot about what’s going on the other side,” he says. Sometimes people just need some hope or a way to grieve and for me that was knowing she’s a Christian and she’s in a better place and one day I’m going to be in that place and I don’t know what it’s going to look like but I’m glad we will be in that better place together.”
Like a man named Job in the Bible who experienced great loss but in the process stated, “For I know that my Redeemer lives…” (Job 19:25), August is now able to proclaim the same truth. Honest about his struggles and the fact that he is not perfect, August continues to press on in his journey striving for a life to moves closer to God each day. Every hurt. Every hardship. Every heartache has now been redeemed. Redeemed in every song and life that finds healing in the Maker.
Grab a copy of The Maker at his store online and find out more about Chris August at: http://www.chrisaugustmusic.com