This song “God Who Sees Me” was written, composed and performed by Maggie and Lael Chapman, who are members of Seven Mile Road church. Here are the lyrics, their scriptural inspiration and the story behind the song.
What does it mean to be seen by God? Strikingly, the phrase is very human, very finite in sensation. God has mysteriously always seen all, and always known all, but the writer of Scripture says: he sees me. As a concept, it encompasses a lot. It describes a relational orientation — one of care, penetrating and ineffable sympathy, and fatherly provision. Very rarely, I think, do we encounter anything analogous to this in human relations. Our hearts ache to find someone who truly “sees” us, but sometimes the ache only grows, because we find ourselves being subtly despised, held in suspicion, ostracized. “What can we do?”
“God Who Sees Me” is a song written by persons who often feel the way just described. I don’t know that Maggie and I [Lael] were conscious of those exact ideas at the time of composition; there was just a feeling, and the lyrics flowed. (Funnily enough, this happened directly after a conversation where one of us had expressed that they didn’t feel like they could ever write a song. We prayed that God would help us, and two hours later, there we were, singing the lyrics above.) But our story isn’t really about that experience, as special as it was. Our story is about lyrics that have come to mean something profound to us because God has been faithful to make them so, through his Word, and through his providence in the hardships of our life.
The reader may have noted that the song begins with contrasts, and ends with analogies. Here is what that means to us:
(Beginning) “God, only you understand this pain; hide me from those who attack me and despise me. God, my heart is noisy with the clamor of defensive words. Be still my soul, find rest and receive from the Lord.” (Middle) “Jesus, I want you to return, but I know that you are drawing men to repentance. Jesus, I long to be free from this body of sin, but I know that your Spirit dwells within me now, and that you are sanctifying me until the day when I shall dwell with you in glory.” (End) “One day, O LORD, I will pass beyond these shadows to the substance of your person. One day, I will be healed of my brokenness, and the image of God in all of his redeemed will be restored! One day, those redeemed will know each other perfectly, love each other perfectly, even as we have been perfectly known and loved by you. One day, we’ll be home.”