A track wedged in the middle of the album NOW / NEVER, “DEAR GOD” shies away from the distinctive electronic beats that the album has come to be known for. It illustrates a stirring imagery of a naked heart offering unabashed devotion and love to his Creator. Greeting you with a gentle yearning through the guitar strings, the song quietly demands your full attention and beckons you into a reverie of an intimate relationship with the One. As the chorus begins with “Dear God”, it all adds up to a letter that is quietly powerful and personal, and most importantly, one that invites you to draw closer to the forgiving and loving God.
What started out as a casual conversation with the songwriter turned into an unveiling of an intimate encounter between him and his Creator. Here’s Marcus on the story behind the song.
The song was written some time early last year when I just moved to Kuala Lumpur. I was at a crossroads with the clock ticking, urging me to make a number of major decisions—whether to enter Bible School, and if not, what and where should I study; and which church to root myself in. Even learning to adapt to a new culture entirely different from my hometown was a challenge. These may not sound like huge problems in hindsight, but I was overwhelmed with everything at that point of time. Without clear directions, it was a season where I poured my heart out to God again and again; the complaints and even the tears. That breaking point was how the song came about.
The moment I made a prayer of acknowledgement to the calling that was placed in my heart, was the moment that I found peace.
It started with the pre-chorus, ‘As I pour out my heart to You…’, and the most frustrating thing was this—God was more silent than He had ever been with me. As much as I felt alone talking to someone who probably wouldn’t reply, I was constantly reminded of His goodness in my life; His grace, His love, His power. Deep down in my heart, I was always assured that He was watching over me, watching every move I make. This reaffirmed my conviction to give my all to Him.
This song was also a personal conviction and proclamation that I’d give my all to God from that day onwards.
That season reminded me of my calling to serve Him, something I was trying hard to run away from, hoping that it would pass me by. But the constant encounters with God made me come to terms with myself, knowing that He’d never let me go. I learned to surrender everything that was happening around me to His hands, trusting that He’d work things out for the better in my life. The moment I made a prayer of acknowledgement to the calling that was placed in my heart, was the moment that I found peace. And so it began—a journey of moving forward into the unknown, wholly trusting that God will handle everything according to His will and way.
Throughout the period of writing this song, I always had an image of God as a Father watching over us. This song was also a personal conviction and proclamation that I’d give my all to God from that day onwards. The letter format came about as I observed how my present situation was: I constantly talked to God, telling Him everything without Him saying anything in between. Just as it is in a letter; we keep writing and writing. And when it’s done, we offer it to the One as a beautiful piece. That’s how I continued with the line, ‘to the One who…’.
Instead of keeping “Dear God” as a song for myself, I wanted it to be everyone’s song.
To date, this is the only song that I’ve written in an hour without revising and correcting the lyrics. It all fell into place so easily. Initially, I thought this song was only applicable to me because it was a reflection of a particular season in my life. Then it occurred to me that as personal as this song may be to me, it could also be personal to someone else. Instead of keeping “Dear God” as a song for myself, I wanted it to be everyone’s song.
After all, you and I may be going through different seasons, but we all need one thing in common to hold on to—a wholehearted trust in Him, irrespective of the situation we face.