he was only 17 when he wrote this, a lonely cry to God that he recorded and produced himself in his parent’s basement. over 10 years later, this song has been on 3 albums, has ended hundreds of shows, and continues to inspire and impact millions upon millions of people.
just listen, and maybe it will touch you like it did i. every human, within the deepest movements of their being, longs for union with their Maker. this struggle is so beautifully evident in this song, dripping with emotion and crying out for help.
I know where you stand, silent in the trees
we know He is near. He waits for us, patiently and full of love. He has led us to this place of quiet and shelter, so that we may reach out to Him. will we make that advance?
And that’s where I am, silent in the trees
we know He is near. we are so close to him, just feet away. we are silent, and so is He. His presence is strikingly, thrillingly felt. we can almost glimpse His face, full of light, through the foliage of our minds.
Why won’t you speak, where I happen to be?
He is silent where He stands. we know that He has no obligation to speak, rather it is us who must approach Him in humility. but our fear and pride clouds the love with which He waits for us. why doesn’t He speak? no, why are we afraid to hear His voice?
Silent in the trees, standing cowardly
we are afraid. afraid of what encounter with Him may entail, of how it will effect our personal comfort, change the routine of our lives. we’ve followed him this far, and now he is only a footstep away, but we are faced with a choice. yet ‘he is waiting, oh so patiently.’
I can feel your breath
He is so near. the silhouette of his figure is before us, the warmth of his breath wraps around our own shivering souls.
I can feel my death
we know now that we are faced with a choice that will decide eternity for us, and the sheer blackness of our death crowds us from all sides. we fix our eyes on Him, and find something there that illumines the answer we must choose: hope.
I want to know you
He is shrouded in mist; hidden beneath the leaves and branches that fill our view; shrouded in mystery. the truth waits behind the foliage and the darkness and the confusion. the core of our being, rooted in its creator, thirsts for this connection. but our human nature, masked by pride, hesitates.
I want to see
we want to step forward, push aside the branches, and enter His presence. Behold His beauty and His Truth. Why can’t we move? Why are we frozen in the trees, silent and full of fear?
I want to say
death is pushing us, pressuring from all sides and trying to stifle the cry that is rising in our throats, trying to pull us away from the trees where he is waiting. but now we know what is hidden in the trees, standing silent and receptive. we realize that true life lies beyond our cowardice. we open our mouths for an impulsive prayer, a final rallying cry.
death assaults us with all its force at that moment, but we are suddenly filled with the spirit of life and we plunge recklessly through the darkness and the branches which obscure us from Him, and enter into the abode of His presence. we are covered with scratches and bleeding from our own frailty, gasping at our own unworthiness, but the moment we enter this presence, He has made us whole. we sing, we shout a joyous “hello!” into the sky, as we enter into a new chapter of life, a chapter of Light.
listen to the song here