SONG 16 WORD OF GOD SPEAK
The story behind Word of God Speak:
One night, Bart (with Mercy Me) hit the sack thinking about how burned out he was. “I went to bed just really frustrated,” he recalls. “It started feeling like everything I was saying was the same. I just thought, I have nothing else to say. So I went to bed with that on my mind.” About 3 or 4 in the morning, Bart suddenly woke up. Grabbing his journal, he began to write:
I’m finding myself at a loss for word and the funny thing is, it’s okay
The last thing I need is to be heard but to hear what You would say
Word of God speak would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see, Your majesty
He tucked away his journal and went back to sleep. A few weeks later in Nashville, Mercy Me was putting the finishing touches on their new album, Spoken For. Rummaging through his things, Bart pulled out a journal and began to read. It’s vaguely familiar, he thinks, and it is my handwriting. These lyrics are amazing! Then the dreamlike moment came back—and soon became the beginning to one of Mercy Me’s most popular songs. “We never stopped while making that record,” says Bart. “We’re in the studio, and at four in the morning, our producer says, I wish we could get one more song on this record. I wish we had more time. So I said, I’ve got an idea, and showed him the lyrics.”
In the early morning hours at the studio, the two hashed out the music and finished the lyrics to Word of God Speak in about 30 minutes. They recorded the piano that night, and the next morning arranged for someone to come in and add the strings. The whole song was complete in less than 48 hours. It was important to Bart that the song remain stripped down—just a simple piano and vocal song without the band, even though he knew that adding full production could make the song a huge radio hit. “I really like this song being piano, I like what it says,” Bart says of the way the simple production mirrors the lyrics of the song. “Sometimes our limited vocabulary is almost impossible to use to speak of an infinite God. There are just no words to use. And that was the first line—I think sometimes we say a little too much, and the more we talk, it seems the further we get from the word of God.”
Bart reflects on a contemporary Christian classic as a partial inspiration to the song. “There’s an old Larnelle Harris song called I Miss My Time With You, and that song came to mind as we were finishing Word of God Speak. It’s the idea that God’s been sitting here saying, Just hush for a second and let me get a word in edgewise. It took a long time and a lot of work to get me to that point to just shut up.”
I love reading about things like this. God does want to speak to us, but we are so busy telling Him what we need and what we want, we don’t shut up long enough to hear what He wants to say to us. Many times God had to wait for me to get quiet, because He didn’t want me to miss what He was saying to me. We should all add a little silence to our devotional time with the Lord. He will speak to us.
I’m finding myself at a loss for words │ and the funny thing is it’s okay │ the last thing I need is to be heard │ But to hear what You would say
Word of God speak │would you pour down like rain │ washing my eyes to see │ Your majesty │ to be still and know │ that you’re in this place │ please let me stay and rest │ in your holiness │ Word of God speak
I’m finding myself in the midst of You │ beyond the music, beyond the noise │ all that I need is to be with You │ and in the quiet hear Your voice
I’m finding myself at a loss for words │and the funny thing is it’s okay
Living in HIS Joy!