God music theology

Friday Music: ‘The Maker’ by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

I happened upon this song over Pandora, and was immediately taken by it. The words are delicious. The melody is gorgeous. It’s a cover, too (you all know how I love the covers).

I’d love for you to take a listen. And, once you have, let’s talk about the theology of this song. In the first stanza, there’s the line that “I’m a stranger in the eyes of the Maker.” I stopped and paused when I read this. Is it possible? Can any of us be a stranger in the eyes of the One who created each of us?

No. I don’t think we can. I’m not sure if that is what the song is saying, but at first blush, I don’t agree with this early sentiment. Perhaps the singer feels like they are a stranger to God. Perhaps they have wandered about, “run a twisted line,” perhaps they do not even recognize themselves.

I know I can empathize with this, feeling as if the Maker may no longer recognize me, because I’d been distant, I’d lost my way, I’d wrapped myself in fear. It happens to each of us.

What I do love about the song is that by the end, the singer, after seeing John the Baptist and recognizes that he is “not a stranger in the hands of the Maker.” However, it seems in this context that it may only be after baptism that one is fully recognized by God.

So, take a listen, and let us know – what do you think? Are we always recognized by God as His own? Does it take a human act to bring us into the light?

And, here are the lyrics:
Oh, oh deep water, black and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide open
I’ve run a twisted line
I’m a stranger in the eyes of the Maker
I could not see for the fog in my eyes
I could not feel for the fear in my life

From across the great divide, In the distance I saw a light
Of Jean Baptiste’s he’s walking to me with the Maker
My body my body is bent and broken by long and dangerous sleep
I can’t work the fields of Abraham and turn my head away
I’m not a stranger in the hands of the Maker

Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters
Standing there with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
There over east of eden
Burning in the eyes of the Maker
Burning in the eyes of the Maker
Burning in the eyes of the Maker

Oh, river rise from your sleep
Oh, river rise from your sleep
Oh, river rise from your sleep

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  • Liz
    May 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Great song! Thanks for sharing!

  • nowealthbutlife
    May 13, 2009 at 12:27 am

    I certainly agree that we can’t be strangers in the eyes of the One who made us in the deepest sense. But I think that we can be in the sense of this song. If we were created to life in love rather than fear, why would Love recognize us when we’ve been immersed in fear?

    I tend to think of sin (of any form) as the space where God is not. So if I am so consumed by sin that I imagine it to be my essence, then it would make sense for me to think that the Maker would not recognize me. In reality, I need the Maker’s touch in order to realize that “I” am not what I thought I was.

    Of course this is just me trying to defend the lyrics… for all I know they are completely nonsensical. But the end strikes me as interesting. The “burning” and “river” invoke the Holy Spirit in my mind, and I wonder whether I am reading far too much into this.

    In any case, thanks for posting! I like the song simply as a song.

  • Anonymous
    March 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Yes, interesting lyrics, but personally I wouldn’t try to draw any deep meaning from them.

    Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

    God is all-knowing, all-powerful and eternal, meaning that he existed before time began (eternity). He is spirit (John 4) and so are we. We existed as spirits before physical creation and to eternity we return when the body dies.