In the Stillness
Lyrics by Dee Anna Muraski, Michele Payton and Darla McCammon; Music by Michele Payton.
The lyrics of this song were mostly written by Dee Anna. Darla and I stepped in and re-worked some of the verses and I added a “bridge” that the song needed. Darla and I were working on finishing up some of the verses and I just yelled out “pink stuff or white” which is what I was thinking I would need to take if we didn’t get this song done (we were on a deadline) and Darla said, “That’s perfect!” I said, “I was just kidding” but Darla said, “No really, it’s perfect and it will go right here!” So, somehow it stuck and survived.
I wrote the music for this song TWICE. The first time I shared it with Dee Anna she just wasn’t happy with it. I was in a panic mode because we needed to get into the studio soon and I didn’t have the music finished yet. The next night, I sat down at the piano and prayed that God would direct my fingers because I didn’t know what else to do …and…He didn’t disappoint me.
It is a little unusual because God directed me to have a mid-eastern sound on it. When we got into the studio in Nashville the musicians didn’t realize I wanted a “sitar” sound on this song. You wouldn’t believe how God works things out sometimes. John Connelly, who plays for people like Lee Ann Rimes and others, pulled out his electric guitar, started playing around with a slide and by the time he and steel guitarist, Gary Morse, got done – we had the sounds of a Sitar!
It’s wonderful to work with creative and resourceful musicians. The best part of recording this song was that we were in a high rise building which had huge windows looking out on the city of Nashville. A big storm came up and we had a lightning and rain storm show while this song was being recorded! It really added to the feeling of the song and you can hear it when you listen. Then, almost as soon as it started, it quickly stopped and there was stillness — you could feel God’s presence. The musicians and everyone in that studio were moved by that moment.
I Kings 19:4-6, 9-12 – But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.
And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.