Cloudy Today? Get Out of the Grey!

Puff Piece: As It Is

Grey clouds have shrouded the better part of this year. Even a sunny summer can’t hide the insecurities of the season. In the past week, I have been working on an article about suffering and grief. My family has had its share lately. Yours, too, I imagine. We found out our new granddaughter has a difficult genetic condition. And we lost my lovely mother-in-law, Gloria when she died in a nursing home. The list could be longer….

But today, I decided to punt and write a puff piece, explore a topic as fluffy and light as a foam-filled pillow or a cotton-ball cloud. What does “Get Out of the Grey” mean? It’s is not about silver linings. Instead, it’s about finding life in a brighter story. Accepting existence as it is.

Out of the Grey: As It Was

Way back in the day, my husband Scott and I named our band Out of the Grey, under duress. We were signed to Sparrow Records, working on our first project, and had yet to make a name for ourselves.

Should we call our group The Dance? No, we don’t want to scare off non-dancing Contemporary Christian Music fans.

How about Denté with an accent over the e? Confusing ethnicity: are they Italian? French? Where’s the Inferno?

I suggested Christina and the Waves but that fell flat.

Somehow we settled on a song title Scott had scribbled in his notebook: “Out of the Grey.” Not gray with an a but an e to reflect what Tolkien might write of mysterious havens. We liked the way the phrase out of the grey hinted at an imminent and vibrant surprise. Uncertain then of what was coming, we are no wiser about our future now.

Blame it on the Grey

Grey is a trendy color these days. This morning I tossed my soft grey blanket across a couch cushion and nearly lost it in the blend. Their colors melded in the same way my cozy wool slippers disappear into our shaggy ash-colored rug.  Walls and pillows boast—no, suggest— shades of grey. My grandkids wear clothing in cool takes on the color. Some of their soft toys lie mute and missing on the non-descript floor.

Don’t get me wrong—I like the way grey looks most places. However, it has set the tone for this year, the perfect backdrop for the storm created by an invisible, invading virus. It started for us in the wintry March madness of cold social distancing. Led to the isolating overcast of self-quarantining… but, hey, I said I wasn’t going there.

What Does Out of the Grey Mean?

Thirty years ago, when I was 26, I believed in black and white. Answers to my myriad questions hovered on the horizon like geese headed north in the heat. I could live with a Winter Sun when summer was always coming.

Mixing fear of the future with theological certainty, I wrote tunes I hoped to whistle all the way home. The future was bright and I was wearing the right shades.

Our Out of the Grey songs reflected black and white truths in the midst of grey areas. I wanted to make solid statements in a world of swirling uncertainty, provide clear images for those of us who couldn’t see straight in the broad daylight.

To get out of the grey meant to trust that this tainted world would one day be saturated in the perfect Justice, Love, and Mercy for which we longed. Complex ideas wrapped up in three little words and three-minute songs.

A Whole New Meaning

The rain is falling this summer day and I’m okay with it. Our thirsty lawn needs the drink. My skin appreciates the break from the heat. Despite the overcast sky, my face is lifted. Of course, grey will always shadow our days. Embracing its nuance means taking life as it is. NOW is as good as it gets. And it is good.

I don’t always get the big picture but I am getting better at living in the present. Much of what clouds my vision is a concern for coming struggles.

Jesus asked:

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Not me! My thoughts can’t capture or control a hazy future. NOW is where I exist and HERE is where I sit.

The bright red pillow on my heather-gray couch matches the flashing red coffee cup in Scott’s hand. Our story accents the fact that stuff happens and yet, here we are. Fluff the cushions, toss the throws, and forget the clouds today. Just for the moment, get out of the grey!

42 thoughts on “Cloudy Today? Get Out of the Grey!”

  1. A friend gave me a cassette tape (did we even have CD’s back then?) of your first release back in 1991. I played it till it wore out and have every single release you’ve created since. I’ve grown up and older with your music. Thank you for sharing the back story of your name. It all resonates so much and it is a comfort in these days to share like-hearted-ness with another – even if we’ll never meet this side of heaven. I still can’t even think about ‘The Deep’ (Let alone listen to it) without tearing up. Thank you! Thank you for being a light in the midst of so much grey!

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    • Robin, that’s so amazing to think about—how far we’ve all come. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond 🙂

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    • pretty much my story other than I found you while reading CCM Magazine and eagerly awaited the 1st release, and everyone since. I have always been puzzled by The Dance, to me it can mean so many different things. Maybe this will be a topic on another write. Blessings

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  2. I think of “out of the grey” as being a cry to remove ourselves from thinking so “black and white”, as if we can really define things so well, and start moving toward the enjoyment of life in color. Just a thought.

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  3. I remember getting your first album and just being blown away by it! Your voice! Those songs! That new style in Christian music! So great! I listened to “He is not Silent” over and over. I then booked you guys at my church and you sounded great live too! I relate to wanting black and whiteness and simple answers to life’s complexities and pain. Life and aging wears at us and screams at us that nothing is simple and easy. But I think that God is calling us to fight those voices and to still approach Him and life with simple child-like faith. Hopefully time, age and experience teach us humility, but don’t rob us of faith, hope and expectation in our unchanging Savior. Thanks for all your great music!

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  4. Thanks for the explanation, I’ve always wondered about the name. Your song “more than you’ll ever know” has very special meaning to me. It came on the radio at a time when I first started dating my husband. God brought him into my life at a time that I needed someone to speak truth over my life. He became my best friend, spiritual leader, protector and provider. We had this song sung at our wedding, by my daughter! I had “more than you’ll ever know” engraved inside his wedding band ❤️ I have loved your voice and music for years. Thank you for using your talents for God’s glory. God bless you and your husband😇

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  5. Black and white mixed up
    Logic and intuition
    So out of the grey

    When life becomes dim
    Prayers still count for something
    Trust in your angel

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  6. It’s great to hear the “behind the scenes” on my all-time favorite band. Gray/grey is my favorite color, although when I tell people that I always qualify it by saying that it’s not a color but a shade of light. Gray is a compromise of light and dark. To me coming out of the grey is that moment of clarity when you know that a surface level relationship with Jesus isn’t cutting it and you’re going all in.
    I’m praying for healing for your granddaughter. There have already been little miracles along the way from the posts I’ve read but believing that she thrives and lives to recount the illustrious acts of the Lord. Blessings!

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    • Jennifer, I love this: “Gray is a compromise of light and dark.” Thank you for engaging and for your prayers and blessings for our sweet Calla!

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  7. You lovelies are part of my foundation of my Christian faith and I thank you soo much and always will be a fan . You are the best

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  8. I was invited to a friend’s home where, unbeknownst to me, a group from her church were getting together. I was personally in a bad place spiritually. Your music was playing in the background and your voice reached right out to me. I asked who you were. That moment changed everything for me. I couldn’t get enough OOTG or other Christian artists and God righted my ship. I eventually saw you live with Susan Ashton and Margaret Becker!

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  9. I always imagined that the name Out of the grey signified a burst of colour – an escape from the gloom. Your album covers and videos always seemed pretty colourful. More so than other bands so maybe the name offered some inspiration to those who design such things. Obviously the song writing was always a breath of fresh air. A different perspective. I find that my views have softened as I get older and I realise that things are not always as black and white as I first thought. I like your thinking. Sometimes it rains on a summer day and I’m OK with it too.

    I do believe God has it all in hand with your granddaughter. It is a tough time but he knows the way through this. May he lead and guide you as a family.

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    • Ian, thanks for 1. that image of a color burst!
      2. “my views have softened as I get older”
      3. the gentle hope and prayer that you offer at the end 🙂

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  10. I can Echo the sentiment in the other comment having followed your music from the very beginning, even down the rabbit holes of things you recorded on other projects obtaining an entire tape/CD for ONE song recorded by you…LOL. BUT I have savored every line, note, all of it. Your gift has been in being able to capture what so many of us think and feel and present it in a glorious way pointing away from yourself and into the eyes of Jesus. It’s always refreshing in that RENEWING kind of way and its a blessing to those of us who share your thoughts. My wish would be that we could all figure out our gifts and use them in this manner for the edification of the body. Thank you for the insight into the beginnings… especially for those of us who remember it from back then… (wait did I just date myself???) You have been a welcome light in a world of grey.

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    • Thank you, Diane, for hanging in there with us from the very beginning (and through all of the various projects)! Humbly grateful to be a renewing part of your life. Glad you told me so ( :

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  11. I don’t know when I found your music, but it was sometime after I found the Lord (at 29, ugh) and embraced Christian music. Your music was always such a pick-me-up, but also so introspective. So We Never Got To Paris took me away from the stress of everyday life and told me that BIG dreams are often realized in the absence of glamour and the realization of God’s providence in the now. I will always return to your sound and your words; they both make me feel completeness in knowing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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    • Jeff, I couldn’t have said it better than this: “BIG dreams are often realized in the absence of glamour and the realization of God’s providence in the now.” Thanks for your kindness and encouragement 🙂

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  12. What an amazing thing–I’m so grateful–to have lived from
    “And I hold on for a better day, how long I’ll wait I cannot say…”
    to
    “What I was sold is starting to own me.”
    (and beyond)

    Somehow that last lyric captures “Out of the Grey” for me.
    I thought I was trying to clear things up for myself all those years, until I give up on myself–again and again–and waited (and still wait) for Christ, whatever the outcome. That’s when I’m not my own.
    So it’s a passing out of the ugly, suffocating grey (which is how I’ve always seen the phrase) and emerging into the unfathomable grey of real life (a thing I could not know back then).

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    • Sean, so much we couldn’t have known back then. I try to keep that in mind about all of the things I think I know now. 🙂

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  13. Love the “puff piece” gift. Still praying for Calla. And offering up special prayers for you and Scott with the loss of Gloria. She will continue to sneak into your heart and thoughts throughout the years…mostly to bring smiles from memories of days gone by.

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  14. I went to the “Along the Road” concert you had here in Los Angeles in the early 90’s. I went 6 hours early to stand in line for me and my friends. I loved it so much that I talked my friends into flying to Ohio the following week to see you all again. I had a lot of pics and you, Margaret Becker and Susan Ashton, signed all of my pics while you were having lunch in the back before your concert. That is a memory I will never forget. Thanks for the memories.

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    • That was a fun tour with Margaret and Susan! Scott and I got to play Out of the Grey songs, too. They were so sweet to our kids. Thanks for investing in us and our music, Linda ( :

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  15. As I recall, or did read somewhere, when OOTG started in ~1991,
    that the name “OUT OF THE GREY” was chosen for the following reason…
    Scott and Christine in choosing a name decided to get serious about changing the
    grey issues of their Christian walk into black and white(right and wrong) issues, and gave the example
    of when as Christians we talk about certain issues or doctrines around our Christian friends vs
    non-believing friends, we may respond quite differently! We might offer a more watered down opinion or statement when we are around our non-believing friend or relatives, but when we are with our believing friends, we are more likely to take a firmer stand on that same grey issue and call it either black or white, thus
    removing the shades or grey that tend to appear when talking about that issue with our non-believing friends!
    Thus, the name “OOTG”, no black today and white tomorrow on the same issue or doctrine.
    I know that I am still prone to this issue in my walk with the Lord. And yes, we need to tread lightly
    sometimes around non believers as the Lord gives us discernment in these “grey” areas!
    Thanks Scott and Christine for all the music! If I got this wrong, I apologize.
    Bill from Denver, now cancer free(as of Thursday) after 20 years and a month of Multiple Myeloma! P.T.L.!!!

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  16. so beautifully, well said. this has sure been a gray/grey year.
    I was listening and singing along with “Along the Road” album. goodness, such beauty in your three voices. I searched your name and came across your blog. lovely words.
    I discovered Out of the Grey when I was babysitting (early 90s) in the parents’ cd rack. just loved your guys’ music.

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  17. I needed this today. Thank you. You’ve been there for me since I first heard “All We Need” 25 years ago now. (That outtro!!)

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  18. I visited your site today out of nostalgia for a clip of a song I remembered hearing so many times on Christian radio in the 90s. It’s weird to reflect on how I felt about Out of the Grey, then. Even at a young age, just looking at one of the album covers made me feel things I can now only identify as longing and jealousy. So many Christian artists did not understand the giant divide between their world and that of their audience. You got to wear fashionable suits and have trendy haircuts and enjoy a general freedom to move about in a world that poor, socially isolated Christians were just not afforded or allowed. I could not imagine a world where one day I would be free to self-express, follow trends, wear clothes that I liked or even attend college, visit a city, or have a job. Just leaving my small town seemed like such an extravagant, forbidden luxury because the secular world was painted to be taboo and off-limits. Decades later I think I’m still a little jealous, of all the things you got to do and see that so many of us did not. I have the freedom now as an adult to do the things I like, but there is still so much I missed out on while in the church, and at times I have to work really hard to remind myself that I have autonomy. Artists like you never realized who you were really making music for.

    Is your conscience clear? You mention not naming your band The Dance because you did not want to offend Christians who felt it was out of doctrine. I remember that brand of extremism in the 90s, and how miserable and controlling and awful the environment was. And you catered to those people, tiptoed around them. In a sense, you enabled them, while you yourself got to live a life of love and freedom.

    Just something to think about. It’s lovely to see that you and your husband are still so happy but please know that it was something unobtainable to your audience. Few Christian women at the time got to have what you had. Few people ever get to have the cushy, relatively conflict-free life you have now.

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