Songwriter and singer Matthew West never writes in the abstract. Many of his songs came from reading the letters sent in by his fans. West's brand new single is no exceptional. "Grace Wins" was inspired by a letter from a fan suffering from heroin addiction.
The letter came from a young man named Robert, West reveals. "He said, 'My name's Robert. I was at your concert, and you sang a song and told a story about somebody battling addiction and it hit my heart because I'm just like that,' " West recalled. "Turns out this young man was addicted to heroin and he wound up at my concert sort of by accident, but all of a sudden something touched his heart and he decided he was going to reach out for help ... we were able to get on the phone with this young man and get him into the same recovery program that the other guy graduated from ... that's what made me write the song 'Grace Wins.' "
The line in the song, "I'm living proof that grace wins every time," sums up what West thought was so incredible about the connection between these songs. Quite simply, it means "I'm living proof that second chances exist," West said, and both of the men who these songs are based on perfectly embody that idea. "All because this one person wrote to me and told his story, well now there's another person who's finding hope in his life and his battle with recovery."
"Grace Wins" is a song written by West taken from his latest album Live Forever. Here's what we said about the album: "Matthew West is the poster boy of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). In many ways, West's music, particularly this new album "Live Forever," reflects the current persona of CCM today. Bright, sparkling, crisp sounding drums over hook laden choruses with a melody that charges out at you waiting to please the most casual listener, every song on "Live Forever" sounds tailor made for CCM radio. Even the themes that these songs address fall within the currency of what gives Christian radio its rhetoric. Here the lyrics fall comfortably (and safely) within the canon of what's being circulated on radio these days, covering the whole gamut, from grace ("Grace Wins") to carpe diem ("The List") to boosting our self-image ("World Changers" and "Anything is Possible"), and to restoration ("Menders")."
"My hope through the songs I sing, the stories I tell, and now this organization that we've started is just to help empower people to discover how their story could actually change the world," said West.