Touched By A Song: "Eighth Wonder" by White Heart

Friday 1st October 1993

Sarah Downes tells how a track by Christian rock band White Heart impacted her life.

White Heart - Touched By A Song
White Heart - Touched By A Song

I started to develop a complex about myself in High School. My dad was then pastor of a small Pentecostal church. The youth group consisted of seven people; myself, my brother and five others. The problem with being a pastor's kid is that others tend to separate you from themselves, thinking that you're something better because your dad is the pastor. I ended up being a loner because I felt people didn't want to accept me.

This meant that at school I didn't quite fit in either, which made me a target for jokes. Some jokes you can shrug off, like about my dad being a priest, and my being a Holy Jo or Little Miss Perfect. But it was the personal insults, about my clothes and my constant smile, and the little things, like being pushed out of conversation and ignored, that stuck with me.
Towards the end of
my schooling I went to a larger church, and not long after started at college with a great Christian Union. I started to feel easier at first as there were more people, and I seemed to get on better, but there were still little things that got to me. The little comments, feelings of being left out; I could walk into and out of a room and not be noticed.

I left college, and finally started work as a trainee on a computer system in a factory. It was then that things began to get worse. To an extent, I could handle what I got in school because it wasn't just me, and when it was mainly because people wanted something to laugh at. But the insults I was getting now were from grown adults who were trying deliberately to be demoralising, And they were succeeding.

Very soon I felt I had come to the end. I started to look at myself in the light of what people thought about me. I started to wonder just who or what I was anyway. A social misfit? A religious no-hoper? A nobody? I even reached the point where I was beginning to believe that God wanted me to be a nobody. In the end, I was so low that I couldn't even describe myself or what I thought of myself.

I remember one night, walking home. At that time I took my walkman everywhere with me. I'd recently bought the album 'Freedom' by White Heart and, though I'd played it, I'd not heard all of it.

All of a sudden, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It seemed like the words were coming from my own heart. I was listening to my own deep, indescribable feelings being put into words. "I look into the mirror, have this silent fear, there is no one really there." That was me! That was my heart. That was how I saw myself.

I remember going home and triple checking the lyrics to make sure that they did say what I thought they said. And they did.

Up to this point Christian contemporary music had simply been good music with Christian lyrics for Christians to listen to instead of secular music. Suddenly all that was changed. Here was a song that had put itself in my position and was saying what I felt and what I thought. It went on to open up a completely different angle to me. It started to show where I should be standing and what I should be thinking and feeling about myself. It became clear that God didn't want me to be a nobody. To him I was someone special. Through his eyes I was the eighth wonder.

Touched By A Song: "Eighth Wonder" by White Heart

Even now, whenever I listen to the song, or even think of the words, it's like my heart dances inside. I feel myself tense up all over with excitement. Then my eyes start to fill up and I feel like crying with joy because God had gone out of his way to make me realise what I meant to him.

When I look back now, I can see a change. The message I got through the song brought a release inside. I'm now so much happier with myself and so much more confident. Not everything has changed. I'm still a loner and still often feel left in the background. The difference now is that I know, inside, that no matter what the world thinks I'm special in God's eyes. And that's what matters.

by Kennedy, Gersmehl, McHugh, Florian and Smiley.

I've been thinking about me
Wondering who I am
Trying to be somebody
Wondering if I can
I look into the mirror
Have this silent fear
There is no one really there

They say there are seven wonders of this world
What would the eighth one be?
If I could just love myself the way
The way that the Lord loves me
They say there are seven wonders of this world
What would the eighth one be?

I keep building and building
Walls around the truth
When what I'm really needing
Is to find my rest in you
Nothing will have meaning
Till I start believing
Just how much I mean to you

They say there are seven wonders of this world
What would the eighth one be?
If I could just love myself the way
The way that you love me
Lord, I feel the wonder in this world
When I understand
That through your loving eyes, you see
The wonder of who I am

© Word Music / BMG used with permission

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Sarah Downs
Sarah Downs is a Christian music enthusiast living in the UK.


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