You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
Who are afraid of being left by those we love
And who get hardened by the hurt
Do you remember when You live down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread?
Did You forget about us after You had flown away?
Well I memorized every word You said
Still I’m so scared I’m holding my breath
While You’re up there just playing hard to get
You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
We have a love that’s not as patient as Yours was
Still we do love now and then
Did You ever know loneliness?
Did You ever know need?
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don’t see the blood that’s running in Your sweat
Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You’re up there just playing hard to get?
And I know You bore our sorrows
And I know You feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained
And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this somehow
All I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can’t see what’s ahead
And we cannot get free of what we’ve left behind
I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and double, blame and regret
I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just pain hard to get
This song (Hard to Get) was written by Rich Mullins. Mullins made a rough demo tape of this and other songs for a new album nine days before he died. While traveling to a benefit concert he was thrown from the jeep he was traveling in. A tractor trailer attempting to avoid the accident ran over his body, killing him instantly. He was forty-one.
Rather than taking the profits of his musical career, he handed it over to his church, which gave him a stipend equal to the average salary of someone working in the United States that year. He lived on a Native American reservation teaching the children to play music until his death.
Rich Mullins and Keith Green have long been two of my favorite Christian musicians – not only b/c of their music but also b/c of the passionate way they attempted to act congruently with their faith. Sadly, Keith Green also died tragically in a plane crash in 1982 at the age of twenty-eight.
The death of these two talented and passionate individuals reflects upon the message of this song – the devastating unreality that rules our world – a place where hurt and death come often to those who provide the best hope of a better future.