Dave Clark / Don Koch / Greg Long
This song was recorded by Greg Long and then again by CeCe Winans. What stands out most to me was the actual writing of the song. During the late 90s, Don was producing a lot of records, and that would usually lead to he and I cowriting with the artist. It was not uncommon at all for an artist to bring us an idea they had been holding back, and the three of us would chase it together. This song was one of those.
Greg Long (Avalon) brought this idea to the table, and I'll never forget the way he explained it. He talked about the road that sin can lead you down to the point of hopelessness. He said he pictured mercy standing in the middle of the road and putting its hand up and just saying STOP! I'm not gonna let you go. The picture was so clear, my instinct told me it was going to be special even before we started writing.
I did something I had never done before on that song that I can admit now. I always had a sense with Don Koch, when it came to ballads, the better the piano he was writing on, the more emotional melody he would write. At the time I was producing a custom record for an artist, so I intentionally scheduled the mix at Great Circle Sound studio knowing it had one of the best pianos in town. I figured we could sit in the studio and write while the mix was happening in the control room.
I had known Greg for a while, but that day for the first time he began talking about how blessed he was with family, and before long the lyric seemed like it was writing itself. Something so amazing was happening, at one point Don just stopped playing. I asked him why and he said he just wanted to remember how the moment felt so that years later when someone asked what it was like to write that song, he could tell them. We all three knew...
I heard Greg sing it for the first time at a GMA showcase at Planet Hollywood in Nashville and the response was amazing. In September of 1998 it reached the #1spot on the CCM charts, and a few years later we got the word that CeCe Winans was going to record it on her Throne Room CD. But even if that had not happened, God had already used the song in powerful ways.