Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 6 – Tuesday after 1st Sunday of Lent
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:
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3.13-16)
From Amy Grant: “Giggle”
Giggle, giggle if you want to
But I know it’s still true
That He’s always gonna’ love me
So just laugh out
If you think I’m uncool
Playing the part of the fool
‘Cause I love Him,
don’t cha know how I love Him?
Oh, well, I do!
When I see somebody cryin’
Some person who’s real mean
I want to quickly walk right by him
But I’ll stop for You,
Dear Lord but, must I hug him real tight now
He smells so bad I’ll faint!
What will my friends think if they see me
Kill my pride? I cain’t!
Well Giggle, giggle if you want to…
When I’m in a sticky situation
Sitting in a class at school
Everybody’s talking evolution
No one talks of You
My hand goes up,
I don’t wanna be too pushy
My arm, it feels like lead
But there is such a joy they’re missing
saying “God is dead.”
Giggle, giggle if you want to…
Yep! Amy is right. Of all the challenges that have come across the threshold of assorted vicarages in trying to walk this road with the Beloved, it has been the aromas that come along with those whom He loves most!
“Dear Lord but, must I hug him real tight now, He smells so bad I’ll faint!”
No one in our home has yet fainted whilst helping a wayfarer but being ‘out there’ for the One who ‘comes near’ to us has a price in decorum, respectability and, most recently a new mattress on our spare bed. But it is a price that we, Lesley-Anne is as determined to serve ‘the Least, the Last and the Lost’ as I am, gladly pay. We are blessed in that we see this same generosity and decision to love the unloved, growing in our children as well.
I love this quote from Catherine Bramwell-Booth,
‘Show mercy, No soul ever was made poor by loving too much, or injured by forgiving too often.’
It is not easy to do this. Sometimes we have had to say ‘no’ and with breaking hearts turn people away from our door. It means that the house is rarely as tidy as we would like it to be, corners of it are full of goods moving from the generous hands of some to the meet the needs of others, and our garage is most often used as temporary storage for the possessions of one or other friend who is temporarily homeless.
Some may think we are foolish and ‘giggle’ at us. Others think we are not planning for the future and are wasting our resources. We feel that we are trying to spend them as best as we can.
…and then there is the joy!
When our family first returned from South Africa to England we found ourselves in a lovely little village in East Suffolk. The vicarage had a long driveway and was fronted by an acre or so of glebe land. This meant that very few ‘wayfarers’ picked up the courage to knock at our door. After about three months in residence one did arrive and, I think by the end of his visit, he may have wished he had not! The well-oiled machine, schooled on the streets of Johannesburg, kicked into action. I had a lovely chat with this ‘gentleman of the road’, Jothy made him a cup of tea, Dan sorted out a couple of rounds of sandwiches, Lesley-Anne found some fruit for his bag, and Tim marked up our new ‘friend’s’ map of the area with the details of churches in whose porches he could find shelter and at whose vicarages he would find a welcome. He left us grateful, a little dazed, and speedily…
And we, we celebrated that Jesus had come to visit us that day! It was a case of ‘high fives’ all round. Yes, he had left a distinctive odour behind him but that incident still brings a smile to our faces and a laughter that is louder than any who might want to giggle at our profligacy.
Lent, because Christians are expected to do weird things anyway, is a good time to step outside our comfort zones and do something different for one of God’s lost ones. I promise you, the joy which comes with giving to those who can give nothing in returns is worth far more than the opprobrium and giggling that may come from those who think it is better to care only for themselves.
Give a hug to someone who needs one.
the light of the minds that know you,
the joy of the hearts that love you,
and the strength of wills that serve you,
grant us so to know you
that we may truly love you,
so to love you that we may truly serve you,
whose service is perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. from Pilgrim (after Augustine of Hippo)
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.