Attention: I’m about to FALL ALL OVER a CCM song, so in the future, whenever someone lambastes me for being a “CCM hater,” I’ll just keep linking back to this post. Enjoy.
[Update: Just remembered I had planned to embed this amazing live performance. It’s preceded by some great words from Twila.]
For one thing, the structure is brilliant. Not only is the move from Christ’s actual body to the church body at the half-way point a simple stroke of genius, but if you listen carefully she actually makes the two halves mirror each other in terms of which body part is being described (hands, feet, eyes, etc.) The first verse begins with Christ’s hands: “How beautiful the hands that served the wine, and the bread, and the sons of the earth.” Then it moves to his feet, then in the second verse to his heart and eyes respectively. After that comes the bridge, then we’re into the Church section. And what do we begin with? The “radiant bride, who waits for her groom with his light in her…” what? Eyes! We’re picking right up where we left off, except now we’re going backwards, because this is the next line:
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
See the pattern? And then after the key change, we have the feet of those who bring “the sound of good news and the love of the King,” and finally, of course, “the hands that serve the wine, and the bread, and the sons of the earth,” which is exactly the same as the first line except with the alteration from “served” to “serve.”
It’s so simple, yet so clean and perfect it could easily have been a “Poetry in Song” entry. But I wanted to talk a little more about what the lyrics meant personally to me. I think that the line about humble hearts giving the fruit of pure lives so that others may live has always been the one that really gets me. I’m sure we could all think of people we know or know of who match that description very well. It can refer to a myriad of things. But in my mind, I’ve always thought it connected especially well with adoption. It makes sense. God purifies and prepares the right hearts and the right families to give back the fruit of their lives in a choice they don’t have to make. Why? So that others may live, those “others” being the children they welcome into their hearts and homes.
The best part is when he says his children make him beautiful. You can kind of tell that he briefly wonders whether it came off sounding wrong, but it has such a sweet, lovely innocence to it. And of course, it fits perfectly with this post.
[Note: To any readers who might feel compelled to say that Caviezel is Catholic, therefore he’s not part of the church, therefore etc. etc… we’re not going to go there. Thank you.]