Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 3 – Friday after Ash Wednesday
These Reflections which take the music of Amy Grant as their theme, were originally published in Lent 2015. They are being republished during June and July 2020 as a way of deepening our faith during the Covid19 pandemic which is affecting the whole world (Please pray for Amy as she in convalescence after open heart surgery over Easter.)
From the Scriptures:
9Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Psalm 91.9-13
From Amy Grant: “If I Could See”
If I could see what the Angels see,
Behind the walls beneath the sea
Under the avalanche, through the trees
Gone would be the mystery
If I could see.
If I could hear what Angels hear
The thunderous sound of a crashing tear,
Holy, holy, in my ear
I’d never doubt that God is near
If I could hear.
I’d see that love will conquer hate
There’s always hope, it’s not too late
I’d find that truth is easy to believe
If I could see – yeah.
If I could know what Angels know
That death’s goodbye is love’s hello
And spirits and come and spirits go
I’d feel them but they never show
If I could know
If I could stand where Angels stand
Watch this world while God commands
And see how Love designed this plan
Reminders on His feet and hands
If I could stand
I’d see that love will conquer hate……
If I could see, if I could hear,
If I could know – there’s nothing to fear
If I could stand, if I could see
Maybe that’s finally eternity
If I could see what the Angels see
Behind the walls to you and me
And let the truth set me free
I’d live this life differently
If I could, if I could see
I’d see that love will conquer hate……
Like sunlight shining on my face
I’d feel the presence of your grace
I’d find the truth and finally be set free
If could see, If I could see, If I could see
One day I’ll see.
Have you ever wondered as to the place of Angels in popular culture? They seem to inhabit a broad spectrum that has gold charm cherubs at one end and a reformed mortal vampire at the other! Many people seem content to believe in the existence of angels, and even a personal Guardian Angel, but yet not believe the message the angels bring about the One to whom they point and of whom they speak.
Biblically angels are quite popular: they are mentioned 433 times in the Bible (working out at 6 and half angelic appearances for every book of the Bible). Probably far more than enough to have obtuse arguments about dancing on pin heads!
Angels, regardless of the efforts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the quasi-religious tat and trinket trade, are signposts on the way home. Heavenly messengers whose task is to announce, protect, defend, and guide the child of God on their journey.
This ‘catch all’ task of being heavenly dogsbodies does mean, however, that they get about a fair bit. Winged or not (and there is some debate about their flying skills!) they have a vision of creation and God’s purposes which will always be broader than our own.
So Amy today imagines what the world, and all its sadness, looks like if we but had an ‘angel’s eye view’ of things. Look again at all the difficult places of life she visits in the verses of the song. What is the answer to questions about natural disaster, sorrow, death and the departed, and even God’s (sometimes frustratingly obscure) plan for us? She asks us to take a step back and see the whole piece.
Love wins, hope turns to glory, and faith is reborn as truth!
We do not always see the whole of God’s love because our vision is dulled and our hearing has been deafened. The answers, or perhaps a beginning to the answers, may found if we but stand and try to see and hear things differently.
So Amy asks for the grace to have, for a moment, angel’s sight, hearing, knowledge and viewpoint. Knowing that if she could catch just a glimpse of the glory that awaits us she will be able to face those same questions and, instead of being downhearted, find grace truth and freedom.
David Watson, sometime vicar of St Michael-le-Belfry in the precincts of York minster, whilst dying of a cancer of the liver coined the phrase, ‘The Best is yet to be’. He had angel eyes. Able to see beyond this ‘momentary light affliction’ to the ‘eternal weight of glory’ prepared for the whole of creation. And so, even though his ministry during his healthy years was fruitful, it came to be that it was richer still as his life faded away and his vision was broadened.
Next time the weight becomes too heavy to bear, or the questions too many to answer, strap on a pair of angel’s wings and some seraphic spectacles and take a wider view of this plan designed by our Lover whose cherishing of us is marked by ‘reminders on his feet and hands’.
Now I wonder if I can pop down to Specsavers and buy myself a pair of them there seraphic spectacles…
(P.S. The definitive book about David Watson and his struggle with cancer is ‘Fear No Evil. This weblink takes you to the Amazon page for the book but other booksellers are also available.)
Be an angel for one person (or even a fur friend) and help them see that what is in front of them is not all that there is to life.
Decide for yourself how this will happen; a small gift, an extra politeness, or just a few extra minutes of your time.
Open my eyes to see Jesus
And his purpose for my life.
Amen. from Pilgrim
All of the music on the video clips from YouTube is © Amy Grant. If you enjoy listening to her songs please consider buying her recordings. A full discography and other information about Amy can be found on her website http://www.amygrant.com
Scripture quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
Prayers from Pilgrim are copyright © 2015 Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, Robert Atwell and Paula Gooder.