How He Loves by John Mark McMillan
This is a slow song is one of my favorites and we definitely over-do it in my worship band. It is our go to song when something gets messed up or we aren’t prepared enough for what we’ve been practicing. And it never fails to get the church singing of a love that is so deep, so wide, so long, and so high. Most people know the David Crowder version, but my all time favorite version of this song is the original by John Mark McMillan.
Love has so many different meanings… There’s brotherly love, husband/wife love, Godly love, etc. So often in life we can use it like it is just another word; and often, it looses its meaning. The kind of love that John talks about in this song is a messy love. It’s a love that is willing to love no matter how messy or gross. It is willing to love things that are difficult. It is a strong love. That no matter how screwed up we are, or how angry we are, God loves us anyways. In the midst of our sin, in the midst of our trials, God loves us. He loves us with a love that is so powerful, a love that is so unconditional, and a love that is absolutely relentless. That is the kind of love that John is talking about in this song.
The story behind this song is beyond powerful.
During a church prayer meeting on November 1, 2002, Stephan (Youth Minister) prayed out loud, “I’d give my life today if it would shake the youth of a nation.” That very night, he died in a multi-car accident.
John Mark McMillan went to Jacksonville, Florida to work in a studio. While he was there, he got a tragic call saying that several of his friends got into a car accident. Later that night, he found out that his best friend, Stephan Coffey, died as a result of injuries from the accident.
The next day, he woke up angry and frusturated. How he loves was written because he had some things to say to God, he need to have some sort of conversation with Him. John said the love that he’s singing about in “How He Loves” is not a pretty, “Hollywood hot-pink” love. It is a kind of love that is willing to love even when things are difficult and messy. He says, “This song isn’t a celebration of weakness and anger. It’s a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things, who would want to be a part of our lives through those things, and, despite who we are, He would want to be a part of us, our community, and our family.”
Think about it
I love that story. It’s heart-breaking. When you sing this song, think about what you are actually saying. Sometimes, when I am going through a bunch of trials, I sing this song to remind me that so matter what is going on, He loves me. For a few minutes during worship, sometimes, I change the words to “Yeah he love me oh how he love me,” just because it makes it personal. This song never fails to bring me to tears as the Holy spirit overwhelmes me with his love.
If you don’t do this song in your worship, I encourage you to do so. The chords are easy, it is C, Am, G, F. And if the piano or guitar wants to play single notes for the lead, It is C, B, E, G.
And lets not forget about the words:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us, oh,
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us, Oh
How He loves us, Oh
How He loves.
And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen (sloppy) kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…
Unforseen? Sloppy Wet?
David crowder uses the word “unforeseen kiss” instead of “sloppy wet kiss.” And in my opinion, I don’t think it does justice. The love he’s talking about is a messy gross love; it just suits what he is talking about. Unforseen means unpredicted, I just like to think of it in a more loving and passionate way. Another version says “passionate kiss.”
The video I have embedded with this post is the John Mark McMillan version. I love this version because there is a 3rd verse that not many people have heard before. In the 3rd verse, John talks about Stephan and he starts crying while he is singing. This rocked me to my core because It’s not those paid hollywood tears. This is legit, hurt, broken tears that he can’t contain. So, just have a listen and tell me what you think.
Thank you, once again, for visiting my blog. For a free chord chart to this song, subscribe to the mailing list below.