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Draw Me Close

(This is the last of the ones from my old church newsletters.  At least the last of the ones I’m going to re-cycle… This one is from June 2004.)

…to hear you say that I’m your friend.
You are my desire, no one else will do,
‘Cause nothing else could take your place,
to feel the warmth of your embrace.
Help me find the way, bring me back to you.
You’re all I want. You’re all I’ve ever needed.
You’re all I want. Help me know you are near.
Words by Kelly Carpenter

I am certain that many of you are familiar with the above song. It has been sung in chapels and church services for several years now. I have voiced the words in Indiana, in Kansas City, in Pennsylvania and here at MCC. Two of these occasions in particular stick out to me, and I would like to share them with you so that we both would be encouraged to draw closer to our Heavenly Father.

The song itself is beautiful. A heartfelt prayer voiced to music. The words express a desire to be in an intimate relationship with God, the one to whom we sing. Many a time have I uttered the words when I felt alone or anxious, dejected or despairing. In many ways, this song penned by another has become the cry of my own heart.

But last fall I saw a vivid picture of what the song means. I was at my church in Pennsylvania, seated in the balcony a few rows back from a young couple and their toddler son. The mother handed the young boy over to his father to hold while she prepared their tithe check. The boy was unsatisfied with this new arrangement – he wanted his mother. As we started singing “Draw Me Close,” the scene before me became a living example of the words.

The young boy wanted to be close to his mother, he did not want to be let go and no one else would do. As I watched his uncompromising reach for his mother and the way he clung to her once back in the comfort of her arms, I began to think. Do we really long for God as the little boy longed for his mother? Are we unsatisfied with the riches and pleasures of the world so that they mean nothing to us compared to the surpassing joy of an intimate relationship with God? Can we truly say to God, “You are all I want?”

But that is really only half of the story.

Back in Kansas City in 1999 at my first mime workshop, Paul Fischer, our worship leader, led us in this same song. Towards the end he spoke to us saying “now imagine God singing to you,” and he proceeded to sing the chorus. “You’re all I want, you’re all I’ve ever needed. You’re all I want, help me know you are near. ”

At first I was disturbed. God singing that to us? Isn’t that sacrilegious? But then it began to make sense.

You’re all I want. God wants us, He wants a relationship with us. He provided the way, through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus, so that our sins would not be a barrier between us. That’s how much He loves us!

You’re all I’ve ever needed. He doesn’t need our promises or our pretenses. He doesn’t need our help or our advice. Just us.

Your all, I want. Now I’ve changed the grammar, but it sounds the same when sung. And it’s true. God wants all of us. Not an hour on Sunday or fifteen minutes a day for Bible reading, but our whole selves, our whole lives. God created us and He loves us, more than we can possibly imagine. God desires a relationship with us and He tells each of us “I want you. Not who you try to be. Not who you promise you’ll be or what you promise you’ll do. You. All of you. Your hopes and dreams, your fears and tears. Your problems and your victories. You. All of you.”

Oh that we may hear His voice, today and everyday! And that we would respond saying “Yes, Lord, I’m here. Have me. Take me. I’ll give everything away to have You. For You are all I want and You are all I need.”

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