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Read the Story Behind Musician Matt Maher's 'Hold Us Together' -- the 'Restoring Love' Theme Song

"...when personal connection and responsibility are replaced with a nameless faceless machine -- well, it's no longer human."

If you didn't already know, Christian singer Matt Maher's "Hold Us Together" is the official theme song for Glenn Beck's "Restoring Love" event. While you may be familiar with the tune (Beck plays excerpts on radio often), the meaning behind the powerful lyrics and their perfect relation to Beck's upcoming event is worth delving into. So we decided to interview with Maher to capture the story behind the song's inception, while also gaining his perspective on the importance of love as a much-needed cohesive force in today's society.

If you're unfamiliar with Maher, the singer-songwriter has penned tunes for some of the most respected names in the Christian music world, including Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith. His songwriting inevitably led to a robust speaking and performing career in venues across the globe. In 2009, years before "Restoring Love" was conceived, his song, "Hold Us Together," was released.

"Love will hold us together, make us a shelter, to weather the storm," the lyrics read. "And I'll be my brothers keeper, so the whole world will know, that we're not alone."

Listen to the song in its entirety, below:

These words capture compassion, love for fellow man and oneness, among other sentiments. When asked what led Maher to write these powerful lyrics, he took us through the intriguing process. It all began with a conversation he had with his stepfather back in 2008. Having a deep respect for him (Maher calls his step-dad one of his "favorite people to talk to"), the singer took the conversation to heart.

"He challenged me as a songwriter to stop writing songs about my faith [and] instead, to try and write songs from my faith," Maher told TheBlaze in an email. "Obviously as a guy who writes mostly songs that get sung in Church, I did tend to gravitate towards songs about God, rather than coming out of my personal faith and prayer life."

Maher took his stepfather's words seriously and began working to allow his faith to infuse his music. At the time, some of the country's political rhetoric and divisiveness during the highly contentious 2008 presidential election also caused the singer to pause and think twice about the forces separating people so intensely.

"I am an optimist, so I tend to try to find the good in people and situations -- even with those that I disagree with," Maher explained. "But it was hard to find that. From the Paul Krugmans to the Peter Schiffs [on the] economy -- the John Stewarts to the Alex Jones of the entertainment and news world -- everything was polarized and you're either completely right, or you're completely wrong."

These considerations and the conversation he had with his stepfather set the groundwork. Then, in 2009, as he was about to fly from Nashville to work on his next album, Maher recalls the airport being eerily empty. He remembers watching an airport television and listening to reporters talk about the controversial stimulus bill that was being debated at the time. The economic fear that the nation was gripped with. It was this news report that served as the final straw and the catalyst that set a foundation for "Hold Us Together."

Watch Maher perform the song, below:

"I got on that flight, and a year and a half's worth of experiences and emotions and pictures and conversations and arguments (and grace) started to come out in words," he explained. "And the first phrase was -- 'love will hold us together, make us a shelter to weather the storm, and I'll be my brother's keeper...'"

As the song began to pour from his heart, Maher said that he "became humbled" and was reminded that love is important and worthy enough to be kept at the center of everything worth caring about. The message, as the lyrics began to stream out, was clear: Loving one another is immensely important and a worthwhile ideal to drive home in today's society.

"Love of God, and love of neighbor -- that was what should be at the center, not only of the individual, but of a society; and when it gets removed, when personal connection and responsibility are replaced with a nameless faceless machine -- well, it's no longer human. It's no longer Incarnational," he explained.

During the week following his flight, Maher began speaking with another songwriter with whom he shared the chorus that he drafted. It was then that the importance of love being the center of the song truly solidified. He realized that having a tune with a focus on what love truly is, what it can and cannot do and what it "doesn't promise" would be fascinating.

"You know, the Gospel does not promise wealth. It does not promise earthly success," he said. "Jesus in the scriptures promises two things -- 1. trouble 2. peace in the midst of it."

Maher has had his own personal struggles -- issues that have shaped his views on these matters. As he was developing the song, all of these experiences and insights caused him to realize that his value and faith shouldn't be rooted in personal wealth, looks or other fleeting elements. Instead, peace and security, Maher says, can't come from anything but knowing that human beings are "completely known and loved by God."

"I am found to be deficient in nothing, because I know I am nothing without Him," he said. "And when I live in this truth, because I know how much I have been given, I am free to serve my fellow man, out of thanksgiving."

In the end, "Hold Us Together" serves as a song that realistically examines at the concept of "love," while challenging listeners to see and act upon the power inherent in taking care of one another. Here's how Maher summarizes the song in one to two sentences:

"To love is to risk and be promised extraordinary highs and lows; it will help you soar through the highs, and carry you through the lows, so you can help carry your neighbor through."

Among the most rewarding elements to come from the song's prominence has been the way in which it positively impacts peoples' lives, he says. From hearing that it has been used at weddings to having people tell him that they handed their lives over to the Lord after hearing it, Maher says he is "humbled and grateful" for the impact he has made through the music. And now, it will gain new life as the theme song for the historic "Restoring Love" initiative.

Maher also expressed his excitement at the connection between "Hold Us Together" and the event.

"I wrote the song to inspire people to help people," he said. "The greatest resource we have on this planet are people and they all have dignity and purpose, and need to be lifted up. When I heard about the opportunity to call people to this, it seemed like a great thing to serve."

Maher also said that he sees nothing wrong with government, but that replacing the individual responsibility to care for others creates a vacuum. Without fostering opportunities for people to reach out and care for their brothers and sisters, the Christian singer believes that human beings "are actually being deprived of the opportunity to grow in virtue -- as individuals, and as a society."

Maher will be performing "Hold Us Together" live at "Restoring Love" this week. We'll leave you with the song's complete lyrics:

It don't have a job, don't pay your bills

Won't buy you a home in Beverly Hills

Won't fix your life in five easy steps

Ain't the law of the land or the government?

But it's all you need

And love will hold us together

Make us a shelter to weather the storm

And I'll be my brother's keeper

So the whole world would know that we're not alone

It's waiting for you knocking at your door

In the moment of truth when your heart hits the floor

And you're on your knees

And love will hold us together

Make us a shelter to weather the storm

And I'll be my brother's keeper

So the whole world would know that we're not alone

This is the first day of the rest of your life

This is the first day of the rest of your life

'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light

It's gonna be alright, it's gonna be alright

This is the first day of the rest of your life

This is the first day of the rest of your life

'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light

It's gonna be alright, it's gonna be alright

Love will hold us together

Make us a shelter to weather the storm

And I'll be my brother's keeper

So the whole world would know that we're not alone

One last thing…
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