Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 11 – Monday after 2nd 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 when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. 14 When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. (Acts 4.13-14)
From Amy Grant: Father’s Eyes
I heard a song about two and a half years ago. And the first time I heard it I cried all the way through it because somehow it said everything that I had always wanted to say but better than I could ever say it. And so this song has become a prayer for me and I hope tonight it’s a prayer for you.
I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl,
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world.
But that’s all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray:
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say,
She’s got her father’s eyes,
Her father’s eyes;
Eyes that find the good in things,
When good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help,
When help just can’t be found;
Eyes full of compassion,Seeing every pain;
Knowing what you’re going through
And feeling it the same.Just like my father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes, My father’s eyes,
Just like my father’s eyes.
And on that day when we will pay for all the deeds we have done,
Good and bad they’ll all be had to see by everyone.
And when you’re called to stand and tell just what you saw in me,
More than anything I know, I want your words to be,
She had her father’s eyes,Her father’s eyes…..
In Westminster, when a political grandee steps away from the Dispatch Box for the final time, the gossip and chatter in the London media is all about their legacy. The only question in the News and on the chat shows is, ‘What was distinctive about this Prime Minister or Backbench MP’s tenure of office that transformed the nation?’ I suspect something similar happens in The White House and other seats of power across the world.
Some, because politicians remain human and subject to all our fickleness, have been known to polish their achievements just before they retire, others shout them from the Lecture circuit once they are free of the shackles of the Westminster village. Occasionally one or two are humble enough to move gently into the realm of quiet good works. For a recent example of this have a look at this weblink later on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17072715
But what of our own legacy? Very few of us will be able to leave behind great works that transform nations, enrich our families, or endow charities. The legacy of the ‘ordinary’ person is made of simpler stuff. But just because they are not measured in Pounds and Pence does not mean that our own legacies will not transform the lives of others.
So today, with Amy, we look at what we leave behind when we finally go home. This song was for Amy her ‘breakthrough’ song when the world of Christian music began to sit up and take notice of her, (for the music buffs amongst you it was on what people in the industry call the historically ‘difficult’ second album). She did not look back and went on from this one song to build a legacy in music – but I think her legacy is much more than her music.
What we do with our lives, as Amy correctly reminds us, depends on how we see the world around us. If we, and please make it so Lord, can have the eyesight of The One who Loves us Best then we will live our lives completely differently. We need fresh eyesight, younger eyes!
One of the reasons why I love working with adolescents so much is because of their clear sightedness and sense of justice. They may not have everything sorted out in their own lives yet (which is why society calls them adolescents and not adults…) but they do know when things are wrong and need fixing. Would that we could hold onto this most important gift from our younger years? How many people do you know who, as they age, are eager to preserve their ‘looks’ yet lose their ‘sight’?
In the history of the Church some of the greatest saints started their journey home when they were teenagers. Francis of Assisi was only 19 when he first heard the call to renounce everything, his companion Clare was 18 when she took the veil, Martin of Tours renounced his weapons and faced persecution when he was 17 and Therese of Lisieux received papal dispensation to enter her convent when she was but 15. Young eyes have God’s eyesight!
How do we learn to regain our ‘Father’s Eyes?’ If I could see things God’s way everyday then I could dispense with the oh so tiring justification of inaction and self-centredness and instead freely offer a broken world open hands to heal and willing feet running to serve my brothers and sisters. Each of us know what God’s will is, none of us has to look far beyond ‘the common round’ to find Jesus in the poor and lonely. The words of another contemporary song speak just as loudly as Amy’s
God of the poor
Friend of the weak
Give us compassion we pray
Melt our cold hearts
Let tears fall like rain
Come, change our love
From a spark to a flame
Beauty for Brokenness – Graham Kendrick
No, we do not need to look far to find work to do. God’s will is all around us and therein lies a legacy of love to be passed on to our children’s children. All we need do is ask to be healed from our blindness and see others with the same eyes with which God looks upon us.
The next time you meet someone who is difficult to be with, or who is demanding of your time and your resources, treat them in the same way you would expect God to treat them.
God of glory,
You nourish us with Your Word
Who is the Bread of Life:
Fill us with Your Holy Spirit
That through us the light of your glory
May shine in all the world.
Amen. from Pilgrim
If you would like an extra dose of Amy’s ‘vision’ listen to this song….
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.