Ok, I need to take some time to talk about one of my favorite songs of all time: Trees by twenty one pilots.
Trees is a very personal and painful song to me because it deals with things I struggle with often. Sometimes it feels like God is very distant. I know he’s there, I know he’s real and he’s very near me, but I JUST CAN’T FEEL HIM. I know he is near. I see his work in other people’s lives. I see his work sometimes even in my own life. But when I pray, when I try to talk to him, reach to him, it feels like he just doesn’t care about me or what I’m saying. I want so badly to say hello, but how can I when I know God won’t answer, won’t care? The fear and doubt builds and builds in an intense cycle until I can’t bear it anymore and I have to run to God, knowing he will take me in.
Keep reading to see my interpretation of this song.
Line by line, here’s the song —
I know where you stand
Silent in the trees
And that’s where I am
Silent in the trees
Basically, this means that Tyler knows that God is close to him (physically). Tyler is standing silently in the trees, the forest, I don’t know, I think this means his mind. And God is near to him. But both are silent.
Why won’t you speak where I happen to be?
Silent in the trees,
Tyler is confused as to why God isn’t speaking to him, connecting to him, but he is afraid to reach out to God, afraid of what might happen, afraid of God, afraid of change. There is a lot of fear when we seek God, and some of it’s valid, but a lot of it is our timidity and selfishness.
I can feel your breath
I can feel my death
I want to know you
I want to see
I want to say
Tyler can feel God near him — but he can also feel his own death drawing near, the darkness pressing in. Sounds poetic and stuff, but that’s really what depression is. And Tyler feels it so close, he wants to get out. And he knows the way to do this is to run to God. But for some reason (I want to) he’s not doing it. He really wants to, he knows it’s the right thing to do, but he’s not doing it yet.
This repeats in an agonizing cycle — to me this song really is agonizing. Tyler wants so badly to talk to God, to know him and see him! Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes the longing to get to that place is so intense — but there’s a wall and you can’t get there!
And then the chorus just builds, builds, in a way that is so painful and full of longing, until it explodes into “HELLO!” And I think that’s when he finally breaks free and seeks God, says hello, pours himself out at God’s feet.
I’m sorry, I just have to talk about this song a lot. This is such an important song, and the moment when he screams “HELLO” and the drums explode is such an important moment. Beautiful surrender. I can’t even describe what this song means to me. Such pain and joy and love.
Now listen to it again.
Maybe now some of you can understand a little bit of why twenty one pilots is such an important band to me. |-/