KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Gospel singer and minister Lynda Randle imitates the voice of her late father Nate Tait: “I was always taught, my dad would say in his groggily voice, ‘Chub baby, if you don’t mean it, don’t sing it.’
“I found songs that were just healing, that resonate in my spirit and have healed me, literally, and then I’m able to sing and communicate that to other people,” Randle said in advance of the Friday (Oct. 16) release of her Christmas album, “White Christmas.” “I think that’s how God blesses that.”
Songs encapsulating Jesus’ compassion, love and forgiveness helped Randle recover from childhood sexual abuse, and she believes the medium of song can be a “healing balm” as America faces the limitations of COVID-19 during the Christmas season.
Randle’s father was a pastor, but the daily family devotions, prayers and Bible studies her parents led in their Washington D.C., home were not enough to protect Randle and her siblings from pain.
Randle, who has chosen not to publicly reveal details of the sexual abuse, said when she found the strength to tell her parents about it, like so many parents in their generation they didn’t know what to do.
“They weren’t dismissing it because it wasn’t valid or it wasn’t a real issue. They were dismissing it because they didn’t know how to deal with it. They just didn’t,” Randle said. “And of course we know it happens in families all over the world; I’m not unique in that.
“But it’s just how God has made me this victorious woman of God; not a victim. I’m not this victim held captive by my past and those things that happened, and I could have been. I could have been anything. I could have been in prison. I could have been on drugs. I could have been. … I thank God that He delivered me from what could have potentially been for my life not a good thing, and blessed me, and blessed our home. I’m just very grateful for that.”
The Dove Award winner and Gaither Homecoming performer only sings songs she believes, songs suited to her vocal range and rooted in Who and What God has been to her. That is what she offers on “White Christmas,” her first Christmas album release in more than a decade.
She offers the God of the manger in “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” ministering with the timeless lyrics, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”
Singing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” styled as a Negro spiritual, Randle “can’t help but think about the humility of Jesus. He doesn’t want us to view Him as this pompous king that we cannot approach in our brokenness, that we cannot approach the way we are.
“That song simply says, ‘I’m this little baby, come to me as you are, no pretense.'”
Randle’s brother Michael Tait, Grammy-winning lead singer of the Newsboys, joins her on “Winter Wonderland.”
The 11-song Gaither Gospel Series release was originally planned for a 2019 debut, but was delayed. She and producer Jason Clark submitted the new project to Gaither Music at the beginning of 2020.
“And then, the pandemic hit,” Randle said. “And this has been such a God thing, just hearing from so many people that are super excited, needing something to lift their spirits. Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?”
Randle said the pandemic has “affected” everyone, although it hasn’t “infected” us all.
“I just really feel like this is going to be a healing balm, a time where people will just remember the joys of Christmas and the reason we celebrate,” Randle said. “And that same Jesus that came as this humble baby in a manger, He’s still with us in this pandemic, and He still wants to bring us the joy amidst the pandemic.
“I feel like this (album) is an opportunity to spread a little joy, and I’m so thankful.”