I like taking bus rides alone. I usually have my headphones on, playing my favourite worship songs.
Five years ago, on my way home, I found myself awestruck in the bus.
I closed my eyes on the bus ride, meditating on His goodness with gratitude in my heart – it was a season in which God had done so many good things for me. And I asked Him:
“Why are You so good to me God? I know I don’t deserve this – I deserve punishment. But still You never leave; You’re so kind to me.”
At that moment, God revealed His answer to me: This was His mercy. That was the first time I understood what mercy meant.
Almost immediately, words – strung together by a melody I had never heard of – came pouring out of my heart. Wide-eyed in wonder, I quickly wrote the words down in my handphone. I realised God had given me a song – or at least the first verse of one.
Under my breath, I sang this new song to God, over and over until I was home. The next morning, I awoke with this little song still playing in my heart. As soon as I was ready, I picked up my guitar and put chords to the words and melody I had – and sang it over and over.
As I continued to sing, it was like something began bubbling up from within me. I was filled with yet more to sing. I began to write down the words the Holy Spirit was downloading in my heart.
And so the chorus was born.
This was one of the few songs I’ve written in secret, and the first to be released in public in 2015, on a Cornerstone Community Church youth album.
Sometime later, as I began to venture more purposefully into songwriting, God revealed something that was immensely humbling to me. Although To See Your Mercy had become a blessing to many, I was in fact the one who needed it the most.
Because of the way I was brought up, I was always harsh and critical of myself – it was a stronghold. A weekend came when I was the designated worship leader in church, and the preacher that week was speaking about the mercy of God.
Immediately, when the band heard the title of her message, they looked at me. Everyone expected To See Your Mercy to be the song played at the altar call.
But I fought it in my heart.
My own song began to minister to me like never before. I was bawling on stage by this point. Mercy was washing over me.
For some reason, I despised the fact that it was just so apt. I thought it’d be cheesy to sing my own song for the altar call – I really don’t like cheesiness. And I was afraid that people might think it’d be cheesy too.
Although those around me tried to persuade me to sing my song – I refused. I went with another song.
We were halfway through the altar call when the preacher took the microphone and asked me, “Actually, can you sing your song?” I was taken aback, but after some hesitation, I began to sing.
As soon as the first few words left my lips, tears started to pour from my eyes. I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit ever so gently, I heard a whisper which said,
“I have put this song in your heart, for a purpose greater than yourself. Why would you selfishly contain it?”
My own song began to minister to me like never before. I was bawling on stage by this point. Mercy was washing over me. And when I opened my eyes, I saw people encountering God like I was.
I was blown away by God’s mercy which flowed in and through me then. And I’ve come to realise that He’s never hesitated to extend mercy to me.
I pray that the immense love of God might reach into the dark caverns of our critical hearts through this song. I pray for liberation, healing and comfort to those who are their own harshest critics. I pray that after encountering the God of mercy, we will be merciful to others – and to ourselves.
Let’s never forget that when Jesus paid the price for us on the cross and redeemed us as His – we no longer need to punish ourselves on our own terms. We have the mercies which He renews every morning.