John Legend made it pretty big with his song “All of Me”. A beautiful ballad, touching lyrics, along with his velvet voice make the song into a real hit.
At the time, and for years after it was released, I thought it was a beautiful love song from a man to his lover. And it still is. But now, when I hear it, I can’t help but hear God’s love, too.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the lyrics. We’re gonna analyze this song piece by piece, starting with the chorus, moving to the first verse, the bridge, the second verse, and what I like to call “the tag”.
Cause all of me loves all of you— Love your curves and all your edges, All your perfect imperfections. Give your all to me; I'll give my all to you. You're my end and my beginning; Even when I lose I'm winning.
God loves all of us with everything He is. But let’s address this chorus in smaller chunks.
Cause all of me loves all of you—
Love your curves and all your edges,
All your perfect imperfections.
I hear God’s love most in this part of the song. Best said in Zephaniah 3:17,
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
He loves us. He delights in His creation, knowing that what He created is good. He rejoices in us.
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
As you can see, He didn’t create us to be perfect. He created us to be good. And that’s what the chorus points out to us, although we are imperfect, God wishes to embrace us.
Give your all to me; I'll give my all to you.
God gave His all to us when Jesus was crucified on the cross as a way to pay for our sin. He died. Talk about giving it your all, eh?
In return, all He asks of us is to give Him our whole heart, just as He gives us His.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
In this lyric, we are reminded that when we enter a relationship with Christ, the love and communication must be mutual.
You're my end and my beginning;
Now, this couplet is something I feel like is something that can be said from God to us, and from us to God. God created life and the Earth, and He created us with it. He is our beginning, and as we were created by Him. But also, even though God is timeless and existed before we began, our being created marks the beginning of His involvement in our lives. So we were involved in His beginning, and as Jesus died, we were His end.
Even when I lose I'm winning.
This lyric could not be more apt. When God is in our corner, even when things are looking down, life is still good. And on God’s end, Jesus lost His life for us. But even when He did that, He won because He won our souls and saved them from hell.
The First Verse
What would I do without your smart mouth? Drawing me in, and you kicking me out. You've got my head spinning, No kidding, I can't pin you down. What's going on in that beautiful mind? I'm on your magical mystery ride, And I'm so dizzy, Don't know what hit me, but I'll be alright.
Now, above is the first verse of the song. I know what you’re thinking. How do these lyrics represent God?
Well, I can’t deny that I’ve praised God and been angry with God in the same day. I believe many of us have. We’ve drawn Him in, and then “kicked Him out”, so to speak.
Also, we can look at these lyrics as if we’re describing how we see God. We often can’t pin God down, His mind is beautiful, and life can feel like a magical mystery ride when we put it in His hands.
Next, let’s focus on the bridge, which precedes the chorus we’ve just analyzed.
My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind
I think it’s hard to imagine our God calling us ‘crazy’ and Himself ‘out of His mind’. But if you think about it, we really are crazy. Our God died for us, and yet many of us don’t let that sink in or let it affect our lives. That, my friend, is pretty crazy. And God is out of His mind, because He’s out-of-His-mind in love with us.
The Second Verse
How many times do I have to tell you? Even when you're crying, you're beautiful too. The world is beating you down; I'm around through every mood. You're my downfall, you're my muse— My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues. I can't stop singing, it's ringing in my head for you.
Isn’t that such a beautiful verse? Let’s break it down further.
How many times do I have to tell you? Even when you're crying, you're beautiful too. The world is beating you down; I'm around through every mood.
We are beautiful because we are created by God and in God’s image. Psalm 139 reminds us that His love in so intimately ingrained our DNA. Why would tears deter him?
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it.
It is certainly true that He’s around through every mood.
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
God is there with us through every circumstance, every heartbreak, every milestone, every breath. We cannot hide from Him—and even when we try, He easily finds us.
You're my downfall, you're my muse—
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues.
I can't stop singing, it's ringing in my head for you.
We were Jesus’ downfall. As it says in Romans 5,
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Being that our sin resulted in Jesus’ death, I’d say that’s a pretty big downfall.
We are also His rhythm, taking part in His beautifully orchestrated tapestry, as He wants us to be “knit together by strong ties of love” (Colossians 2:2), and He “made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
Even the the couplet between the last two singings of the chorus characterizes our relationship with Christ. (Side note: Is there a name for this type of lyric? I choose to call this couplet the “tag”).
Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts; Risking it all, though it's hard.
In order for us to live fully in a relationship with Christ, we must both be vulnerable with each other, that is, we must both show our hearts. We must risk it all, putting our life into His hands, because living any other way is not being vulnerable with our Creator, and therefore not really living at all. As John says, it’s certainly not an easy process.
But it’s a process that’s worth it, because all of me loves all of Him.