I've loved this song for awhile now.
I listened it over and over while my brother was sick, and then even more so after he died.
I've sung it to Cate every night before bed for many months.
I've got many associations with it... both beautiful and painful... It's a song I treasure, and I'm thankful for, for many reasons.
but I just recently learned of the last verse.
and the story behind the song.
and why John Mark McMillan wrote it and when he wrote it...
(You can hear it starting about the 6:00 minute mark in the video above... and you should.)
Oh I thought about You the day Stephen died
and You met me between my breaking
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony
See people, they want to tell me You're cruel
but if Stephen could sing, he'd say it's not true
because You're good...
'Cause He loves us...
I loved the song anyway. Thought the message was powerful, so powerful anyway. But I watched a video where JMM spoke of writing the song, and I was so thankful.
He wrote this when his heart was completely broken. One of his best friends had just died. He was torn apart, angry, confused, hurt.
In the video, he talked about how he's not talking about a pretty, happy love... but a love that is willing to love the messy
He said he wanted to write about how in his anger and frustration and resentment God could still love him through that, that He wasn't offended by it.
Through tears, he talked about how after 7 years it's still really tough.
He said the song is 'not a celebration of weakness and anger, but a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things, despite those things.'
'That's the kind of love I'm talking about,' he finished the video saying.
Oh am I ever thankful for a God who loves in this way.
I spent much of the last year being messy and broken and difficult and gross...
but I experience the goodness of God, His faithfulness and love like never before.
Oh, how He loves us!