Brandon Heath co-wrote this song with songwriter Jason Ingram. Heath told the 700 Club on CBN that the song was birthed over a conversation the duo had over a meal. He explained: "We had a conversation over Chinese food that we wished we could have God's perspective on things. If we did have His perspective, we'd wish we could have it for long periods of time, rather than just for a few seconds. That was the beginning."
Lyrically, this song, which concerns Heath's convictions for wanting to see the world with compassionate eyes, was inspired by people-watching at an airport. He explained in publicity materials: "The song was inspired from the idea that every once in a while, God gives us His eyes. You tend to see a lot of different kinds of people in places like airports. Sometimes, usually only for a few moments, I feel like God gives me true compassion for those people around me. I think that the longer I get to know the character of Jesus, the more compassion I personally have for others. 'Give Me Your Eyes' is saying, 'Jesus, give me Your eyes so that I can see people the way You see people, so I can love people the way You love people' One of the core goals of my ministry is focused on striking up conversations about social injustices around the world and being a voice for those who have often been silenced by poverty or lack of influence. I want to challenge people more. 'Give Me Your Eyes' does that. It is one thing to have compassion and quite another to act on it. Most times, it starts with the people around you."
In the Songfacts interview with Brandon Heath
, we asked him if he knew this song would be a hit. He replied: "No way, man. I remember the day that we wrote it, and I had a good feeling about it. Sometimes when you write, you think, yeah, I can see this working at radio, or I can see this really sticking in people's heads. But the fact that there were sermons written after it, people went on missions trips. And as far as I know, I think it's the first song in the history of my record label to go gold, as far as a single. That's way, way beyond my expectations for that song. But it's been great."
This was one of the most successful Christian songs of 2008 and its success continued into 2009. Heath told the 700 Club: "I never had a song have such an impact. I think that the reason it was so successful is because it's a common desire that God puts on a lot of people's heart. I think that a lot of us just really do want to see people through God's eyes, have His perspective and to care for people better."
This won the Song of the Year and Best Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song at the 2009 Dove Awards. Heath also won the award for Male Vocalist of the Year. At the ceremony Heath performed the track with the help some dancers carrying suitcases as symbolic references for letting go of worldly baggage. He told reporters backstage after the ceremony "It was an honor to share this award with my friend Jason Ingram. I consider myself blessed to be able to write songs that encourage and challenge others. It feels great to know that you are making a difference in the world."
This song spent 14 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Christian AC radio chart, and 27 weeks at the summit of the iTunes Christian Song Chart. It was the second most played song of of 2008 on Christian contemporary hit radio.
Heath explained the album title to the 700 Club: "Every part of that phrase, 'what if we,' is important. I don't even look at it as incomplete because the 'what if' part is about possibilities, obviously. But the 'we' part is saying, 'let's do this together, let's not do this alone.'"
NASA Endeavor crew pilot Terry Virts used this recording for his crew's wake-up song in space.