Nothing beats a good gospel song when the going gets rough. For centuries, songs like “Amazing Grace” and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” have proven their utility for getting music fans over the rough side of the mountain. So as we combat both the realities of a global pandemic and a media barrage that sometimes seems as unrelenting as the novel coronavirus itself, music is a balm, and no song brings more comfort that CeCe Winans’ epic “Alabaster Box.” (Source: Michael P Coleman/Michael’s Mind’s Eye)
Written by Janice Sjostrand, “Alabaster Box” details a profound moment of worship. The songwriter declared “Don’t be angry if I wash His feet with my tears and dry them with my hair / You weren’t there the night Jesus found me / You didn’t feel what I felt when He wrapped his loving arms around me / And you don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box.”
Independent of your personal religious beliefs, there’s something powerful about hearing anyone speak their truth as earnestly as Winans does. As it turns out, “Alabaster Box” had quite an impact on the gospel music legend when she heard it for the first time.
“What a song,” Winans declared during a phone chat from her home in Nashville. “I was on tour years ago, and someone gave me a cassette tape and said it had a song on it that I needed to hear. I got into my bunk on the tour bus that night, and I put the song on, and a girl was singing ‘Alabaster Box’, all the way stripped down. I wept, and I wept, and I wept.”
Winans told me that she knew she had to record the song, but the time had to be right.
“I held that song for a few years, because it just had to be the right CD, the right time,” Winans continued. “It describes the meaning and the power of worship. There’s an anointing on that song!”