Lyrics and Stories Behind the Songs On Crossway's "Beautiful Thing" CD

The Gospel group Crossway is quickly becoming one of Southern Gospel Music's most popular groups. Crossway's music reaches a broad audience with a sound that ranges from Christian

Country to Southern Gospel with a progressive edge. No matter how you try to categorize the music - and it does have a unique sound - it always fits under the category of "Good Music".

I talked with Paul Smith shortly after the release of their album, "A Beautiful Thing

". This wonderful CD is the follow up to Crossway is one of Southern Gospel Music's favorite groups. their ground breaking CD, "This I Know" which produced the hit songs, "Looks Like Love To Me", "Long Arm of Love" and "Oh My, My".

"Beautiful Thing" shows Crossway progressing in their style down the road that "This I Know" started. The Country Music element is evident but it doesn't overshadow the harmonies that are distinctly Southern Gospel.

"A Beautiful Thing"

“The minute I heard this song I loved it”, smiles Paul Smith of Crossway. “I loved the feel of it. I loved that it is real fun to listen to and of course Matt sings it so well. I like the harmonies – it’s got some interesting harmonies.

“It’s similar to the rest of the songs in applying the Word. One day we are going to be a beautiful thing. You know I may mess up here, I may mess up there, I may do this wrong, I may do that wrong, but in the end God’s going to make us a beautiful thing. Its just applying the Bible to what we are living today.”

Lyrics to "Beautiful Thing"

Made popular by Crossway
From the album “Beautiful Thing”

Somedays I just believe
Without even trying to
Somedays its harder than that
But this reality is that I can trust in you
Its more than faith it’s a fact
Oh this life’s a mystery

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And there’s more that’s going on
Then I can ever see


You are the silent hand moving on the canvass of my life
You’re not finished with me yet
You paint the masterpiece
Nobody else can see that in the end we’ll be
A beautiful thing

Verse 2

Sometimes I spin around
I cry and I fall down
At this I’m no superman
How can I ver doubt
You know me inside out
You make me more than I am
Oh it really blows my mind
How you take this mess I’ve made
And you somehow make it shine



“Scott sings “Took It All Away”. That was a very big song for him – it applies to the rest of us to.” Paul Smith explains. “When he (Scott) had his first child, she was very premature because his wife had toxemia so they had to take the baby real early. The doctors acted like she wasn’t going to live – they didn’t think she was going to make it. It was day after day after day for I think three months and finally she got a little better and now she’s fine. In fact the doctors say the only thing that’s wrong with her is she looks like her dad”.

“This song is a deep song, not just a surface song. Everyday there’s stuff that happens to all of us. Like I lost my dad, my mom lost her husband, Scott almost lost his baby and could have lost his wife. There’s all kinds of situations where things get taken away from us in life and basically this song says even if God took everything away I would still praise His Name.”

“Now that’s a hard thing to do but people do it everyday. People outside of Christianity will look at somebody that lost something and they are still praising God and ask how are they doing that. Well, its because God gives us the strength to do it. That’s what this song says.”

Lyrics to "TOOK IT ALL AWAY"

Made popular by Crossway
From the album: Beautiful Thing
Annie McRae, Christian Taylor Music

I’ve been numb from the shock of devastation
Left so confused that it paralyzed my prayers
An unexpected pain tore my heart to pieces
And just left my faith hanging there
But I rose up from the ashes of my despair
And with his strength I stood and I declared


That if You took it all away
Every gift You ever gave
The sun that shines in my day
The stars that you display
And if You never blessed again
If You gave another trail instead
If the precious thing that I held
Was stripped out of my hands
I would stand and praise You Holy Name
If You took it all away

Verse Two

God I must believe that You are with me
And that You still have a purpose and a plan
And when You have proved and You have tried me
I will shine like gold in Your hands
And I’ll rise up from the ashes of my despair
Lord with Your strength I’ll stand and declare


Verse Three

When I feel like I can’t last another day
I’ll cry blessed be Your Name, Blessed be Your name
When I can’t see the Hope through the pain
I’ll cry Blessed be Your Name, Blessed be Your Name


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This song title catches your attention the first time that you scan the back of the CD cover –“Thank God I’m Not Jesus”. Paul Smith reflects on how this song came to be on the “Beautiful Thing” album. “I like songs that make me think or realize things about Jesus. There’s something cool about a song that makes you reevaluate, think through everything and this is one of those songs.”

“I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anything like it. I remember I got a demo and when it started and the demo singer sang “Thank God I’m Not Jesus” I was like what in the world have they just sent me? Because I was”, Paul paused to search for the word, “I was stunned thinking what could that mean.”

“Me and Matt were actually listening to it at the same time and we stopped what we were doing and just, we were just stunned by what the song said. Basically the song goes through the life of Jesus all the way through and talks about how a regular person, someone like me, if we were in a situation like He was in how we would handle it differently.

“Now I know we are all Christians and I know we all want to do things right but there is no way we can compare to Him. He led a perfect life and did everything perfectly and without Him we would be condemned to hell.

“The song goes through if you had people talking about you and cutting you down what would you do? If you were Jesus you could do anything and more than likely you wouldn’t put up with it. But Jesus did.

“It talks about how Jesus made friends with the poor people and not the Pharisees. People today want to be friends with that can influence people and that wasn’t the way Jesus was. Imagine if you were in a courtroom and the judge was fixing to put down a verdict of guilty on all the stuff that you had not done. If you are Jesus you have the power to make him change his mind but He didn’t. And imagine if you or I were on the cross hurting as much as you could be hurting, as much pain as you could possibly feel and all you had to do is say a word and instantly it would be gone and angles would be there to help you. That’s not what Jesus did though. He didn’t call those angles. He went through that so we wouldn’t go to hell.

“To me that just makes me realize how awesome, how much of a gift He gave us. It’s what he went through and the decisions He made throughout His life so you could go to heaven. To me it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

Lyrics To “Thank God I’m Not Jesus”

Made popular by Crossway,
From their “Beautiful Thing” album

Thank God I’m not Jesus
‘Cause if I were
You’d all be walking around guilty
Still under the curse
And if I were Him
I’d never let anyone put me down
I’d broadcast my healings all over town
Make sure my name was getting’ round
But thank God I’m not Jesus
‘Cause I’d claim my rights
Protest the stable and manger
With a scream and a whine
And if I were Him
I’d point out my mother’s smallest mistakes
Then sit back and watch as her heart breaks
Knowing there’s nothing that she can say
Thank God I’m not Jesus, oh thank God

Thank God I’m not Jesus
‘Cause I’d chose the twelve
Turn away all of those fisherman
For those with power and wealth
And if I were Him
I’d probably make friends with the Pharisees
Turn a blind eye to the least of these
Cast the first stone at the guilty
Thank God I’m not Jesus
‘Cause if they said that I’d sinned
I’d plead my case in the courtroom
And make sure I’d win
And if on the cross
I’d call down a legion of angels
Do anything just to save myself
Let the whole world just go to hell
Thank God I’m not Jesus.

70 x 7

“Matt McFarland wrote this song”, states Crossway’s Paul Smith, “And I love that song. It talks about a verse in the Bible whereit says how God will forgive us 70x7 times. It’s not really meaning a number. It’s just one of those things that means an infinite number. Like God will forgive us an infinite number of times. Like God, we should be doing the same. We should forgive people no matter what they do.

“Matt will tell you he has trouble forgiving people sometimes so I think that’s why he wrote this song.” Paul smiles, “He probably wrote it for himself”.

Lyrics to "70 X 7"

Made popular by Crossway
From the "Beautiful Thing" CD
Matt McFarland, Hefandhog Publishing

Verse 1
Oh Lord, Its hard to believe
How many times I’ve been wrong and deceived
By someone who calls you Father
Someone who calls You Friend
I don’t mean to be a bother
Will this ever end?
How many times must I say “I forgive you”?
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Then I’m reminded of what you said in Matthew


Over and over and then one more time again
If someone needs forgiveness, give it up to them
Let go of all the bitterness
That your heart holds in
Remember the times you’ve been forgiven
70 x 7

Verse Two

I know I’ve heard that story a thousand times before
But what I don’t understand is how to do it, oh Lord
Will You give me the strength and power to endure?
Cause I can’t do it alone, This I know for sure
I’ve always been out to hurt those who hurt me
Lord help me live by your words of mercy

Chorus x2

On My Way To Heaven

Crossway’s Paul Smith describes this song as encouraging. “I’m on my way to heaven – if that’s not encouraging I don’t know what is. You know all of the things that happen, all the stuff we see….you know we are on our way to heaven and we’ll see Jesus someday and everything will be fine and no more worries, no more troubles. That’s pretty encouraging!”

Lyrics to, "On My Way To Heaven"

Made popular by Crossway
The album: Beautiful Thing
Craig Wiseman, Bob Dipiero
BMG Songs, Inc/Mrs Lumpskins Poodle/Sony
Tree Publishing Company

Verse 1

I get down, I get all turned around, I get angry
Pressured without the grace
I get mad at the things that happened to hurt me
And I pass every mirror by that I can’t bear to face

Why do I look behind
What do I hope to find
When I know all the time
I’m on my way to heaven
Why can’t I let it go
Why do I move so slow
When deep in my heart I know
I’m on my way to heaven

Verse Two

I get stuck, I get used to the ruts,I’ve been running
Thinking that I’ve arrived
And I dread all the changes ahead that are coming
Wishing that somehow I could just slip
Through the hands of time

Why do I drag my feet
Why is my faith so week
What is there here to seek
I’m on my way to heaven
What have I got to loose
Why am I so confused
I am just passing through
I’m on my way to heaven

Verse three
I’ve been less than an angel
I guess I’ve been human
More than I care to say
And I’ve not been a friend
When a friend could have used one
And somehow I just walked away

Why am I scarred to love
Why is my heart so tuff
What am I thinking of
I’m on my way to heaven
Why can’t I let it go
Why do I move so slow
When deep in my heart I know
I’m on my way to heaven

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