According to www.allmusic.com, the song Amazing Grace has been recorded more than 6,600 times. It may be the number one recorded song in the world, sung by a range of singers from Joan Baez to Willie Nelson to Judy Collins to Carrie Underwood. I really enjoy Carrie’s version.
As much as I love words and word play, I cannot imagine writing anything as powerful as that song. It evokes such strong emotional and spiritual response as to bring tears and laughter and on-your-knees praise. Sometimes all at the same time.
While the song itself does not mention Jesus or God, it is an anthem of Jesus followers (the author was a Christian). One might wonder how that could be. Of all the characteristics of God, His grace is the one so many of us encounter first. And, often, it is such an overwhelming force as to sweep us off our little pedestals and into the ocean of His grace and love and acceptance, giddy with freedom and joy.
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. John 1:16 NIV
I’ve been thinking about how God works through us to accomplish His will. An unofficial study of the spiritual mechanics, you might say. Just as God changes the dynamics of our relationship to Him through grace, our grace toward others changes the dynamics of those interactions.
I remember, years ago, standing in line at the express lane of a grocery store with a dozen other people. The person at the front of the line had more than the “15 items or less” but it wasn’t grotesquely over the limit. The person right behind them said (rather loudly), “Obviously this isn’t an EXPRESS LANE!”, and stomped off, dropped their items, and exited the store. It was uncomfortable until someone in line started giggling. Then we all chuckled. And took one step forward.
The giggling was a form of grace. It relieved the tension we all felt, and we were bound together for a moment. It reminds me that the choice to be gracious is always available.
We ambassadors of God have the privileged opportunity of interacting with other people in alignment with His will. If our first interaction with God is a revelation of His grace, other people should find grace in their first interaction with us. Shouldn’t they?
By the way, if you start giggling when we meet in heaven… I will appreciate your grace. 🙂