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Does she know?


Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?

Could she have imagined Reed at all? Could she picture him, near 5 a.m. in his car on the lawn at the Capitol, with the new monument dead ahead?

Could she conjure the way he would react to the line: "Grace upon grace," bum bum "all my fear falls away," bum bum bum? How, in that crescendo toward the chorus, her song would inflame his soul? How it would light the heart aflame?

As a modern Christian hoping to preach through synth, she must have understood the complications coursing through Reed as he weighed his own religious beliefs — his, at least reported, love of God — with an ardent and American devotion to civil liberties, right? She must have, in part, always battled this as a modern Christian rock artist, too.

Did she — as happens in the video Reed posted to Facebook — agree to let radio stations intercut her song with a strange dialogue about dealing with adversity? Could she know that this dialogue, and her pop Christian serenade, would coalesce and stew into an anthem, or at least an important background?

How as the chorus begins Reed would sigh, "Oh my goodness" — an exhalation of pathos that seemed to be cutting him, churning in his stomach — and then yell, like a bugle call for the war for separation of church and state, "FREEDOM!"? Could she — who wants to "see people transformed by experiencing God's love" — know just what would happen on a pitch-black predawn in Arkansas?

In the sound booth belting her love for God, could she understand that her chorus' strong bass beats, as she praises kneeling before Christ in the throne room, would match the thumps of the car as Reed drove over grass and straight into the Ten Commandments monument? How upon impact the video turns to black on beat? How, fewer than 24 hours after it was put up, the probably unconstitutional Ten Commandments monument, inscribed with 11 commandments, would become rubble?

If she knew, would she softly whisper, "Dust to dust"? Or, think of the first commandment, "... no God before me ... ," and picture monument sponsor Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) staring into the mirror and dressing himself up as a martyr?

Would Walker-Smith ever conceive — perhaps discussing with her label Jesus Culture on how to publicize the new album on Christian radio stations in post-production — of the cleanup crew hauling away the cracked statue in the morning?

Does she even know, now, about how potent a jam she has concocted? That she was the backing track to a real-life movie?

Did she imagine, also, The Observer holding his phone to a computer for a few minutes, desperately Shazaming to figure out what ballad could orient the revving mischief of Reed and then watching her YouTube videos for 30 minutes?

Probably not, we're guessing.

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