When I was a college freshman, I attended a school known for it's country and cowboy roots. CMT (Country Music Television) was our preference to MTV. I often fell asleep to that channel so I could listen to music as I drifted into sleep. Dolly Parton (I heart her) performed this song live at the 1989 CMA awards and CMT began to promptly play it on their channel.
In 1989, I had many interactions with God, but no relationship with Him or His Son. One night, I had the TV on and was sound asleep. The TV volume was barely decipherable, but this song and video came on and I sat straight up in my bed and didn't move for the entirety of the song. Afterward I just cried and cried. But I didn't belive the song. I knew Jesus was alive, but I didn't believe I was forgiven. I just wouldn't let Him in because I didn't believe for one second God could love me as is and would change me if I let Him.
God woke me up dozens of nights to hear that song. CMT divinely played it, and I would wake up from a dead sleep and cry and cry. Lord, but I was dense not to see God was trying to talk to me.
I muddled through the next 7 years believing the lie that I couldn't be forgiven, and then Jesus showed up one day in a very undeniable and powerful way as I sat on my couch. Looking back, I can see that God used this song to talk to me and I just adore it. I listen to it at full volume in my car when I'm alone and when Dolly sings out "He's alive and I'm forgiven, Heaven's gates are opened wide" I cry and cry, but now it's because I know it's true :)
What breaks me heart? People who don't know our Jesus. This Easter season reminds me moreso that there are broken people all around me who harbor fear, anger, unforgiveness, shame, pride, and feeling alone and unloved...