Have you ever listened to a song and felt as though it was written just for you? It’s almost as if the artist put his pen to the page and captured something that universally speaks to the heart of what it means to be human. Needless to say, I love songs that are meaningful. I think that is especially why I am constantly listening to music from the singer/songwriter genre. There is such vulnerability and depth to this type of music. It’s almost as if the artist has let down their walls and opened up their heart just enough to capture the most intimate part of themselves.
One such work that has had a profound influence in my life as of late is the song “Know Me Well” by Roo Panes. In an interview with the Burberry Acoustic, Roo explains that the song is his interpretation of what friendship and companionship should look like. He says that while he was halfway through writing the song his sister got engaged and she asked to use it as her wedding song. He was able to finish the song for her and play it on the night of her wedding. And while I agree that “Know Me Well” is an incredibly beautiful song about what true friendship and companionship should look like, I think that the lyrics of the song speak to an even deeper spiritual reality. Namely, the idea that we are known by God and that he knows us well.
Now in order to explain the deeper spiritual reality at hand, let’s take some time to examine the song as a whole. The first verse begins by stating, “Well you know me with that ancient gaze│ Stripping down with yesterday’s eyes │ You know me as I was you see me as I will be │ And still I had a lot of growing │ When you took me and you shaped me with those hands │ You know me better than myself │ Make me better than I am.” Within this first verse, it’s as if we are reading a love letter from the loved to the beloved or rather from us to God. The truth is that God does know us with an ancient and all-encompassing gaze. He is able to see us as we once were but also as we will be for all eternity. Even in the midst of our waywardness, God continually shapes us and molds us with His hands. He knows us better than we know ourselves and only He has the ability to make us better than we are. He does indeed know us well.
The second verse exclaims, “When I think about my past │ I see our love too many years before you came │ In my hopes and my dreams │ With the wax and the moon wanes │ And you saw what I could be │ Please teach me how to be what I was meant to be │ See without you I was nothing │ But with you can be anything.” Again in this verse like in the previous we hear the loved crying out to the beloved. Once we have encountered God, when we look back upon our lives it is easy to see His love present even before that moment of profound conversion. We are able to examine each moment and see Him present in it all. Even in our hopes and our dreams we are able to recognize this deep longing for something more, for a relationship with Him who is above all, in all, and through all things. It is only God who knows our true potential. Only He can teach us to be who we are meant to be. Without Him we truly are nothing, but with Him we can be anything. He knows us so incredibly well.
The bridge of the song states, “What can I fear │ When I know that I walk by your side │ You’re the fortress │ Within which I got nothing to hide │ None can take me │ I’m the tower the world cannot fell │ Cause I’m stronger │ When I know that you know me well.” With God by our side we have nothing to fear. He is our fortress. Within Him we have nothing to hide because He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. When the Lord is with us nothing can take us, the world cannot overcome us. In Him we are made strong, and we find hope because the truth is that he has overcome the world. He knows us so well.
The truth is that in each moment of every day, the Lord is calling us to Himself. He is seeking us out. He is guiding us, strengthening us, giving us all that we need to live our lives for Him. And this spiritual reality of being known by Him has the ability to impact our lives in a profound way. If we begin to recognize that we are known by the creator of the universe and that He intimately and profoundly has loved us into existence and that He has the ability to continually guide us, shape us, and mold us into the person we are meant to be, then we are able to experience true love, companionship, and friendship. The Lord wants to be your friend. He knows you better than anyone else. He is seeking you out in every moment of every day. Will you choose to let Him in?