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Andrew Peterson is a songwriter extraordinaire. His lyrics are masterful, God-centered and human. He sings of his own need for forgiveness, the grace of God, and the humor and tragedy of life. 

Last night, he presented a concert at the church I serve, Hope Church, in Tupelo, MS. In addition to previewing his new album – Resurrection Letters, Vol 2 – he played a number of favorites suggested by the audience. One of those songs was “The Queen of Iowa.” 

I’ve wondered about the background of the song – and heard the story.

A young woman named Jody was brutally and horribly assaulted. The result was full-blown AIDS. The young man who loved her made the courageous and selfless decision to marry her and care for her. That decision has stood firm for 15 years. 

Jody’s story became known to a church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The church began to pray for Jody, her health and her husband. They also put feet to their prayers by ministering to her in practical ways. The result was the conversion of the couple.

Her health deteriorated as a result of tumors in the brain and lungs. Andrew was called and asked to do a “bedside concert” for Jody. She mouthed the words, smiled, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. After that evening, Andrew wrote his song, “The Queen of Iowa.”

Later, Andrew was called and told Jody had become nearly comatose. He returned for another concert, in which Jody wiggled her pinkie in appreciation. 

Doctors and others were skeptical – and perplexed that she was still alive. More than one doctor and scientist had revisited the question of God’s existence as a result of Jody’s life and spirit. There were no precedents for this.

A third phone call came. “Jody is comatose, but we suspect she can hear. Would you do another bedside concert?”

As Andrew sang of the Savior and life in Him, Jody’s eyes snapped open – for the first time in weeks. Her parents moved into her line of sight, and she smiled. Her hand began to move, as if she were gripping a pencil. Quickly, a pen were put into her hand and a pad held before her. She wrote something, smiled and closed her eyes again.

Andrew showed a slide of the paper on which Jody had written the words, I believe in the invisible God.”

That paper now hangs on the wall in Andrew’s bedroom. He told us that it is the first thing he sees when he awakens in the morning.

His new album presents the song, “I Believe in the Invisible God.”



  1. WE LOVE ANDREW PETERSON! I wish I had known he was going to be there. It would have been wonderful to have heard him live and been able to see you and Ruthe. I absolutely love the way he writes.

  2. …You say Ohio, I say Iowa….

  3. I heard Andrew tell this story last night in concert in Rockford, IL, and it thrilled and moved me. The song “Invisible God” is so beautiful. Andrew is rare and gifted talent, and “Resurrection Letters Volume II” points clearly to Christ.

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