He Knows My Name
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
The story behind the writing of "He Knows My Name" is one example of what God can do if we will follow through in obedience to Him. My pastor, Mark Pickerill, wrote a sermon of the same name and asked me to write a song to go with it.
In the process, I thought it was turning out to be one of the worst songs I had ever written, but I just went ahead and finished it, knowing the greatest enemy of songwriters is unfinished songs. I also kept going because I had the sense in that moment that this would be a simple act of obedience to God. The inspiring part of the story is the testimonies of people all over the world that have been touched by my feeble little act of finishing what I started.
In 1997, I met a 7 year old orphan in the Philippines named Jerry. Everyday he would ask me, "Tommy, what’s my name?" I have to say, not many people on this earth knew this abandoned, extremely poor boy's name -- but I got to tell him that someone much greater then me did and I got to sing to him and many of his orphan friends this song.
I’ve had the privilege of telling forgotten people in many parts of the world, both rich and poor that God knows them and is calling their name, and what a privilege it has been. I recently re-recorded this latest version with producer Ed Cash and what a blessing it always is to work and worship with such a humble and gifted man. We purposely put children's voices on the new bridge because it echoes the sound of Jerry and the millions of forgotten children in the world who are not forgotten by God! In the end I turned the song into a prayer saying let the abandoned, nameless, friendless and forgotten say... "He knows my name!" There is nothing more powerful then to know and declare that the God of heaven knows us and loves us...