You'll Paint a Sunset Someday





Before the light goes out
Before the darkness overcomes
‘til You remove Your grace
Please let us see Your face
Before the light goes out

Father I'm amazed that You still hear me
Who could blame You if You turned away
But as long as You decide to linger near me
I choose to spend this time with You today

Before the light goes out
Before the darkness overcomes
Until You've had Your fill
We seek Your living will
Before the light goes out

Father I’m unworthy of Your favor
And yet my cup still overflows
Your kindness and compassion now I savor
For how much longer only Heaven knows

Before the darkness overcomes
We beg You to increase
Your everlasting peace
Before the light goes out

Father I'm a child in Your nursery
You keep me safe as in my mother's womb
And though at times You reprimand with mercy
You keep a little night light in my room

Before the light goes out
Before the darkness overcomes
‘til you remove Your grace
We need to see Your face
Before the light goes out


The land that drinks in the falling rain
Brings blessings of life to all that will eat
The hand will certainly gather in grain
Who seeks for the Light, who stays at Your feet

Today if I hear You I’ll run to be nearYou
I need to be with You to be where You are
So today if I hear You I’ll listen intently
And do as You ask me

Come make a change in my heart
A change in my heart
A change in my heart
A change in my heart

Like jars of clay spinning ‘round on a wheel
Like water to wine like grain on the floor
Lord come make a change by Your Spirit in me
Let all that is mine be Yours evermore



On the way out I noticed the old guy
He was cleaning up after the band
When he put down his mop and stepped into the spot
With a broomstick guitar in his hand

He sang of forgotten tomorrows
And of memories that he never had
He was full of cheap whisky and full of himself
But you know what he wasn't half bad

I stood there at least twenty minutes
‘til a board in the wooden floor cracked
I was embarrassed but he couldn't care less
That he had been caught in the act

He said I saw you tonight you were something
Hey I used to sing sweet as you
But somehow the notes all turned sour and old
And the audience started to boo

I don't miss the road or the hotels
I don't miss my name up in lights
I don't miss my face in the papers
When I joined in some sweet barroom fights
I don't really miss the musicians
Or the paydays from standing room draws
No I don't miss the money or the women I loved
But I wish I could hear the applause

I asked him to sing me another
And I offered my brand new guitar
But he wouldn't part with his broomstick
‘cause tonight that's what made him a star
So he tuned the old broom to perfection

And he strummed with a sad little wink
Oh I had big plans
Like any young man
But the dreams weren't as strong as the drink

I don't miss the eight by ten pictures
I don't miss the autograph hounds
I don't miss the late night rehearsals
On the bus headin' for the next town
I don't miss the years that I've wasted
Knowing what might have been never was
But if I could bring back a moment in time
I wish I could hear the applause

It's a hard pill to swallow
A tough thing to take
When you know in your heart
That you could've been great

I thought about slipping him twenty
hen slipping out on some pretext
But how do you not throw a line to a man
Who's drowning in all those regrets

So I pulled out some chapters and verses
With the strength of a Spirit unseen
Recounted the life of a carpenter's son
And wooed him with John 3:16

He sat there in utter amazement
Like a blind man just given his sight
Together we scoured the Gospels until
He realized the case was airtight

So he gave up his heart in surrender
But oh what a stunning defeat
As he picked up his broom a new song filled the room
For the One he was bound soon to meet

Now I don't miss his face or his friendship
I don't miss his jokes or their bite
I don't miss our time in the Bible
Where he hunted for loopholes each night
I don't miss his casual concerts
Or his voice with the gravelly flaws
But if there's a broomstick in Heaven tonight
I wish I could hear the applause
I wish I could hear the applause
Lord I wish I could hear the applause


And Israel said of the Lord
He’s displeased with all our ways
God has turned His face away
Our sins obscure us from His holy gaze

And God said:

Can a mother forget her child
I will not forget you
If her love grows cold
Mine will never grow old

From beginning to end
By My grace you still stand
See I have engraved you
On the palms of My hands

When all my hope fades away
And my fears take hold of me
When darkness falls upon my dreams
My soul cries out Lord, be not far from me

And God says:


Can a man rise from the grave
Can a country be born in a day
Is My arm too short to save
O lift up your eyes
And know I named each star in the sky
Do you think I don’t hear you when you cry

And God said:



Who shall separate us from the love of Christ our Lord
Who can tear us away from the One whom we’ve adored
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ our King
Who can pull us away from the One whose praise we sing

Neither death nor life
Angels or demons
The present or the past
Through all our tears and trials
He will hold us fast

Before my body ever took form You knew all my ways
Before the time that I was born You numbered all my days

So where else can I go
To whom can I turn
You hear every laugh and sigh
And know the reason why

Before I ever utter a word You know what I’ll say
Before the thought has even occurred You hear it far away

Oh Lord You search me
And know me so well
Wherever I might run to
I can’t run from You

At times I think darkness hides me
From the sight of Your love
But Your Spirit abides in me
And I am not overcome



Pulling in the driveway
After five months on the road
The porch light flickers dimly
The yard has not been mowed

There's not too many places
Where this family hasn't been
It won't be very long until
The highway calls again

Opening the door I notice
Nothing much has changed
The suitcases are heavy
Unpacking them is strange

I should be grateful I don't have to
Sing another song
But I can't shake this feelingv
I'm not where I belong

Why does it seem seeing new fields to plow
I ought to be harvesting soon
Why do I feel like a fairy tale cow
Who longs to jump over the moon
Why do I rage like a storm in a cage
While my heart is proposing we sail
‘cause home isn't home isn't home anymore
Just the place where I get my mail

I was drowning in the safety
Of my couch and my TV
There was no channel showing
What You had for me to see

I heard You calling out
I tried to close my ears
I didn't want my comfort
To become Your souvenir

But You gave me this wanderlust
To strike out and explore
You placed in me a purpose
And then showed me the door

Though walking 'cross that threshold
Is the hardest thing I've done
I took the first step anyway
To see what You'd begun


We're wanderers and sojourners
On distant foreign shores
We're citizens of a land that
We have never seen before
And though I long to settle there
When I get over tired
I know the miles are many
‘til my passport has expired


7.  EASY LIES (6.16) Listen to Easy Lies |

I've been looking for answers all the days of my life
I can't help but ask questions that cut deep as a knife
Sometimes I walk away wounded from the answers I've found
Once I mined me a gem so solid and sound

I put the prize in my pocket moved on down the road
Shared the wisdom around tried to lighten the load
‘til someone out on the highway masquerading as wise
Tried to tell me my diamond was just a rock in disguise

Easy Lies
Comfortable truth
Hooks I swallowed whole
In my terminal youth
Propaganda with passion
Though I had no proof
Just easy lies
And comfortable truth

Once a Fuller Brush Witness came and knocked on my door
Selling spiritual fitness he said I shouldn't ignore
"Can you get me to Heaven?" I pleaded through tears
"Wish I could," said the fella "It's been booked for years."

"Got a room at the Hilton got a suite with a view
And it's Heaven on Earth it's the best we can do"
I told him my reservations trading treasure for tricks
Won’t give up my Father’s mansion for your Motel 6

Easy lies
Comfortable truth
Jumping into forever
With no parachute
Run it up the ol' flagpole
And see who salutes
Those easy lies
And comfortable truths

I found myself at a meeting—a convention of gods
Now I'm no Jimmy the Greek, but tell me what are the odds?
Told me I could be mighty roam the universe free
But then Baba Rum Raisin spoke through god number three

Said I wasted the effort riding here on a bus
"You could have astral projected leave the flying to us"v Well, there's only one God and I know I'm not Him
Trade my diamond for crystal? I won't go out on that limb

Easy lies
Comfortable truth
Hooks I swallowed whole
In my terminal youth
Propaganda with passion
Though I had no proof
Just easy lies
And comfortable truth

Well I've heard all the stories: "I'll come back, get it right"
"When life's over it's over" "Just follow the light"
They're all warm and seductive, make you wanna believe
It's designer religion designed to deceive

Well the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie
God left us a blueprint so we'll never die
It's the diamond of Hope Love Mercy and Truth
Walk a mile with me and I'll share it with you

Easy lies
Comfortable truth
It's the River of Life
We've learned to pollute
When it flows from the Savior
Then we have no use
For easy Lies
And comfortable truth

8.  THE DISTANCE (4:11)

Nothing more to say
She turns to walk away
But with each step
Something’s calling her to stay

There’s that soft brown bear
He bought on her first date
There are vows they gave each other
On a silver plate

It’ll never be the same
Love is not a game
When she looks into his eyes
There’s a broken trust inside
And it’s more than she can live with
More than she knows how to forgive

But is it more than the distance between God’s love and our sin
Is it stronger than the blood that can wash away what’s been
Is it greater than the grave that had to set Him free
Or does the distance in our hearts show how little we believe

As he sits and stares
In her favorite chair
He starts to think about
The smell of her hair

How they promised God
They’d never walk away
Now it seems so odd
That they can’t even pray

Can it ever be the same
Now there’s ice where there was flame
When he looks into her eyes
Is there any trust inside
And it’s more than he can live with
If it’s more than she can find to forgive


Do we confess with our mouths
What we mean in our hearts
Or is it just some words someone said
Is there power in His name
Is there healing in His blood
Is Jesus really risen from the dead


In words never spoken she’s tried and condemned
Her spirit so broken her pain without end
Beaten and boxed by the presence of shame
She can’t help but wonder if God knows her name

The wounds in her heart and the marks on her skin
Are a steady reminder she’s a prisoner within
Desperate she calls to the One with the key
While the voices inside say she’ll never be free

O Merciful Mender of hearts
You who hear the prayers we never start
You are the God who sees
The price of our disease

It’s so hard to trust someone she’s never known
It’s hard to believe beyond flesh and bone
But His touch brings healing a feeling of peace
Now found by His love she falls to her knees

O Merciful Mender of hearts
You who know the scarred and wounded parts
Pour out Your grace on me
You’re the Truth that sets us free

You alone hear the silent cries
Of each one captured by the father of lies
Your blood can heal our deepest sin
You are the Light in the darkness within

O Merciful Mender of hearts
You who hear the prayers we never start
You are the God who sees
The price of our disease

O Merciful Mender of hearts
You who know the scarred and wounded parts
Pour out Your grace on me
You’re the Truth that sets us free


Got a late start out of the blocks I’ve always resented
Wasn’t focused on the race and I fell behind
There were plenty bad breaks but some I could have prevented
And a hungry clock kept eating up my time

I had a game plan all mapped out because I was clever
Had some lanes closed off I swear were calling my name
Just a stumble’s all it takes you’re buried forever
And you’re looking ‘round for someone else to blame

‘til someone takes the time to hand you down a mirror
And it holds the face of one who caused your pain
Like a frozen lake the truth it couldn’t be clearer
One less excuse and dream to entertain

If once is all I get around this circle
And if I’ve got any chance to excel
If I can’t finish first
Father I’m asking
Help me finish well

You gave me gifts and love I merely wasted
And talents barely bloomed are withered and gone
Oh the banquet You laid out I never tasted
That You meant for me to dwell and feast upon

Now I see the fruit You’ve laid upon my table
There’s a hunger growling deep within my soul
You’ve shown me by Your hand I’ve always been able
But my eyes were on the prize and not the goal

If once is all I get around this circle
Won’t You help me up from where I fell
I may finish last
But Father I’m asking
Help me finish well

Won’t it be a story
When announcers say I’ve lost
When writers count the medals
And career my stumble’s cost
Yours will be the glory
When they see my weathered face
And I tell them all how Jesus
Helped me run my finest race

If once is all I get around this circle
And if I’ve got one more chance to excel
I don’t care where I place
But Father I’m asking
Help me finish well
Help me finish well

11. YOU'LL PAINT A SUNSET SOMEDAY   (7:16) Listen to You'll Paint a Sunset Someday |

He was just an old painter of houses
In his heart he was, oh, so much more
He dreamed of the galleries he’d someday fill
As he touched up the trim ’round a door

He was blessed with the heart of an artist
But cursed with a lumberjack’s hands
He spoke in a language with brushes and oils
The canvas could not understand

Now he had a way with a roller
And his pride in the workmanship spoke
To the township whose homes he had covered
Who saw life in simple, broad strokes

He held up his hands so expansive
And cried, “Lord, it just isn’t fair
Why can’t I set down a skyline
Why can’t I still-life a pear?”

That night God answered his prayer

You’ll paint a sunset someday
With colors that won’t fade away
Be still and listen I’ll give you My vision
And you’ll paint a sunset someday

But he didn’t wait for God’s leading
Like an embryo skipping the womb
He went out and purchased supplies he would need
And for months locked himself in his room

He was tired of patience and wisdom
Like a child determined to play
And the story in both local papers
Said his heart overcame him one day

Not before he could hear someone say


The service was quite well-attended
They came to say thanks and goodbye
When pressed for some personal stories
No one had much to supply

Then slowly a sad revelation
They felt deep conviction and cried
For the man who had brightened their lives so
Was never invited inside

I stood up and said I had known him
That I’d been his apprentice two years
And while we were sanding and prepping
He told me his dreams and his fears

I don’t understand his obsession
All I know is James had true heart
Didn’t matter that he lacked the talent
Didn’t bother him he wasn’t smart

With these words the Lord set him apart


We all left the church and proceeded
To a hilltop with luscious green sod
We went there to honor an artist
We went there to be close to God

We focused our solemn attention
On the unfolding Polaroid skies
I saw hues which had never been blended
Dancing dreams on a canvas of cries

In that moment impossible beauty
Was the tender which purchased our hearts
In the receding skyline I swear I saw this:
Sunset by James Leonard Parks

He was just an old painter of houses
But he left me with more than a trade
I turned in my brush for a hammer and saw
Construction pays better these days

And I hear through the dawn’s early rays

You’ll build a kingdom someday
With souls that won’t fade away
Be still and listen I’ll give you My vision
And you’ll build a kingdom someday

12. THE ROAD TO ZION   (5:00)

There is a way that leads to life
The few that find it never die
Past mountain peaks drenched white with snow
The way grows brighter as it goes

There is a road inside of you
Inside of me there is one too
No stumbling pilgrim in the dark
The road to Zion’s in your heart

The river runs beside the road
It’s waters living as they flow
In liquid voice the water calls
On thirsty knees a pilgrim falls


Sometimes a shadow dark and cold
Lays like a mist across the road
But be encouraged by the sight
Where there’s a shadow there’s a light


Sometimes it’s good to look back down
We’ve come so far we’ve gained such ground
But joy is not in where we’ve been
Joy is Who’s waiting at the end



In 1998 Michael and Sally recorded and released You'll Paint A Sunset Someday. These songs reflect a greater maturity in their walk with the Lord. One of the favorites from this album, which is often requested, is the country-style ballad, I Wish I Could Hear The Applause. There is a reminder of Michael's humor in the reggae-flavored song Easy Lies, his send-up of false religions and spiritual distractions. The album closes with a special rendition of Petra's The Road to Zion.