Some Songs are So Honest They Hurt (as the Heal)

In 1987, Wayne Watson had been an established Christian songwriter for almost a decade. But it was in 1987 that his album, “Water Color Ponies” was released and his career really began to skyrocket. In some ways it is, in my opinion, an over produced and orchestrated album, like a lot of music secular and Christian at the time. But it is also a powerfully emotionally honest work.

Most contemporary Christian musicians are less than honest. U2’s Bono has commented on the need for Christians to write more honest songs. Wayne wasn’t afraid to share his struggles with living the Christian life. To be sure he wrote his share of sentimentally sweet songs [Full disclosure: I can’t listen to his “Water Color Ponies” without weeping over the lost years with my children.] but even in them, there is an honesty, a truthfulness of a man seeking to think hard about life and faith and family and living with the reality of a broken world.

Today, as I was doing some clean up in my office I ran across the lyrics to one of those songs. “Would I Know You Now” is a song of lament. It wrestles with realization that sometimes we all become fake without intending to.

Sometimes we lose Jesus. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in “stuff”, doing life, doing family, doing pain, doing joy, doing work, doing church—we lose Him—the One who is our life. When we do, when we wake up and see that we can’t see, or that what we do see is a distortion, unreal and unworthy of Him who died and rose for us. At that moment, a sacred transaction takes place in the heart of the believer. 

We run.

We run to Him.

If you have lost Him, let me encourage you to run to Him. Maybe Wayne Watson’s song from 33 years ago will help. 

Run to Him. His arms are open.

Would I Know You Now

Would I know You now if You walked into the room
If you stilled the crowd–If You light dispelled the gloom
And if I saw Your wounds–Touched Your thorn pierced brow
I wonder if I’d know You now

Would I know You now if You walked into this place
Would I cause You shame–Would my games be Your disgrace
Or would I worship You–Fall down upon my face
I wonder if I’d know You now

Or have the images I’ve painted
So distorted who You are
That even if the world was looking
They could not see You–The real You
Have I changed the true reflection
To fulfill my own design
Making You what I want
Not showing You forth divine

Would I miss You now if You left and closed the door
Would my flesh cry out “I don’t need You anymore”
Or would I follow You–Could I be restored
I wonder–I wonder
Will I ever learn
I wonder–Would I ever know You now

Words and Music by Watson Wayne, 1987
Copyright 1987 by Word Music, ASCAP
from the album Watercolour Ponies
Would I Know You Now

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