As College Park Worship anticipates the release of its EP, Dare to Hope, College Park Church Production Director, Chris Skinner, sat down with three of the songwriters to discuss how and why they crafted these original songs of lament. Below is Chris’s conversation with the author of “Will Not Forget,” Sam Lawton:
1. What inspired or led you to write this song?
The message of the cross is such a big truth to grasp; I find that it’s best understood when put to music. When writing, songs of pain and of Calvary always seem to flood my mind naturally. I think this is a good thing. Given the amount of suffering in the world, it’s helpful to write and sing about a suffering Savior. Jesus was truly man, which means he was and is able to identify with our suffering. “Will Not Forget” was inspired by the truth of where our hope is in the midst of suffering. We hope in a King—not just any king—who delivers us from ourselves and the pain we endure.
2. Are there experiences in your life or the lives of others you know that informed the writing of this song?
I have been attending College Park for a year now and have only been a member for a few months. Yet in this short time, I have heard of many suffering in our church. It was during our songwriter’s retreat that the suffering of Tyler Trent really settled in. While there are plenty of raw and painful experiences in my own life that bring lament, this song is more for those within our church who are crushed under the weight of suffering.
3. What Scripture passages played a role in this song’s composition?
Truthfully, there isn’t one specific verse or passage. All of the verses used during the retreat hit home.
4. Was the writing process easy for this song, or was it a struggle? Why?
The bones of this song came together quickly. The music came first, as it almost always does. The lyrics came soon after, but I found myself stuck on the bridge and verse one. I didn’t want the tune to sound poetic. I wanted it to feel raw and uncomfortable in order to capture the realism of people’s actual thoughts. With the help of a few other College Park songwriters, I think verse one now depicts that. The bridge represents the plea and the request part of lamenting. The words “I need to feel you hear,” capture the desperate desire for God to be close to us when we are in a lowly place.
5. What do you hope the church will see about God through this song?
First and foremost I want the church to be encouraged by the hope we have in our King. I want our church to sing a song they can relate to and that moves them to pour out their lament to God. I believe the Lord is not afraid or offended of our expressions of fear, anger, or hurt when properly directed toward him (as displayed by the psalmist or Job). He’s more than likely offended by anything less. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells those who are heavily burdened to go to him and he will give rest. Let’s not withhold from ourselves the goodness the Lord has in store for us by trying to carry the weight of our laments on our own.
Lyrics for Will Not Forget
There’s a hurt so deep, it’s hard to breathe
Even in my sleep it never leaves
Feeling all alone in all my pain
I am desperate for you once again
I will not forget
Our hope is in the King
Jesus, the Lord
He reigns over all
Our hope is secure
Jesus, the Lord
There’s a man who suffered much for us.
Only Son of God, Jesus
Giving up himself on our behalf
Conquered all our sin saving man
Oh God dwell with me
I need to feel you here
Reveal to me your presence
Hear oh God, Emmanuel