Very, very rarely (perhaps never) have I split one song up into more than one post. But “If You Can Hear Me” by Ben Rector is too good of a song to only devote one post to. Since last week I had a theme of not losing your voice and listening to the right voices, it made sense to follow that up with some reflections on actually being heard. If you’ve never heard of Ben Rector, do your ears and heart a favor and go check him out.
“If You Can Hear Me” is one of those songs that I can see people arguing about. Over the years people have wondered which of Ben’s songs were religious, but if you really listen to this one, there is no denying it’s religious tone. Ben starts off the song singing,
Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like worry
Treading a well-worn path into my soul
And it don’t sound evil, oh, but my head’s burning…
Worry. We all do it. Even as I sit here to write this post I’m worried it won’t come out as awesome as it is in my head. I’ve been worried that Anthony and I wouldn’t find a place to live before the wedding, that disaster would ruin our wedding day, worried for a thousand reasons each day. The devil works in many ways, and he often works through our worries. He preys on the things we fret about, wearing a well-worn path in our souls.
The path in our souls, as we well know, is worn. Our worries are numerous, which is exactly why the devil takes that path so often in our lives. It doesn’t sound inherently evil to be worried, but our heads burn with worry. We spend countless nights losing sleep worrying, we are distracted at work and with our families because we are riddled with worry. And that’s exactly how Satan does it. The worries seem small at first, then we walk the familiar and well-worn path, adding worry on top of worry until our heads and our hearts are burning.
Ben goes on to ask if God (my guess as to who the “you” is throughout the song) can hear him. There are so many voices, so many worries that we want to know that God hears us. Can He send us some peace? “Because the devil’s walking in my soul and all I really want to know is You can hear me.” Of course we don’t want the devil walking in our soul, but when he does all we really want to know is that someone, God, can and does hear us.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”