Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 12 – Tuesday 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:
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too, and he praises her:
29 ‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates. (Proverbs 31.25-31)
From Amy Grant: “Mimi’s House”
Introduction from Amy:
This song goes back to the very beginning. To a precious old lady named Lilly Burton. We call her Mimi, Great Mimi actually ‘cause she’s my great grandmother. She lives out on a farm in the middle of town. Of course there wasn’t a town when she first moved there and I’m glad that I’ve gotten to sing this song to her while she still alive. I don’t think she’s ever heard me, she’s kind of ‘mm mm umum’ but some day I’m gonna sing this song to her in heaven and she’s gonna go, ‘Is that what you were doing in front of me all those years?’ anyway….
I remember many times when I was just a child,
How I played in that old house out on the farm
With rocking chairs and squeaky stairs, all pieces of her world,
And a fire in her room to keep us warm.
‘Cause no one is a stranger in Mimi’s house,
‘Cause love has made His home there in her heart
And she’s got that infectious way of laughing right out loud
That takes away my pain and lights the dark.
And now we’re not as young
as when I played there all the time,
And the visits seem too scarce and far between,
But life goes on at Mimi’s house, and in my mind I’m there,
With a fire in her room to keep us warm
‘Cause no one is a stranger in Mimi’s house…
And when I stop and think of how she’s aging,
Growing strong and graceful in her God
Well, you know it takes my fear away from aging;
She seems to know the secret that we’ll never be apart
‘Cause no one is a stranger in Mimi’s house…
Who is your ‘Mimi?’ A relative? A school teacher? An old friend from church?
For me it has to be my Granddad Steward. He lived all of his life in the fenland town of March and drove steam trains for a living up and down the East Coast Main Line to Edinburgh. And once or twice he even drove the Flying Scotsman
He was for me an anchor and a constant light. Always there, playing dominoes on a park bench with his old fireman friend, tending the vegetables in his garden, and playing in the March Railway Silver Prize Band – he was once champion trombone player of All England. He used to call me ‘Nimrod’ (after his favourite piece of Elgar) and I cannot hear the trombones part of that piece without whispering a ‘thank you’ to Sid Steward.
He was not an overly religious man, or at least he did not seem so to me, but he taught me values of constancy and faithfulness in the way he tended to his beloved Freda in her latter years and was patriarch to his family of ten. Somehow juggling all the different relationships and remaining the one person to whom any one of a sometimes fractious group of siblings could talk.
One of my constant, if slightly macabre, memories of Granddad Steward was his pride in showing me a small drawer in his bedroom chest that contained only one item of clothing; a brand new pair of striped pyjamas from British Home Stores. These were, he told me solemnly, his ‘laying out pyjamas’ and if I ever happened to be nearby when he passed on I was to remind his sons (my uncles) that they were what he wanted to be dressed in when he was laid to rest.
I suppose, like Amy and her Mimi, granddad was saying to me ‘it will be alright’ and reminding me that just as he had built a house where love was at home he was content to look forward to a heavenly home with the One who Loves us Best.
In our home, (which has moved between many different houses…) we have tried to make it a place of care and compassion where love is at home. We are not the best family in the world – doors have been slammed, voices have been raised, stony silences have been endured, and crockery has been broken – but the front door, even though occasionally locked out of necessity – is always open to the wayfarers God sends our way. We see them as His special gifts to us. People to cherish, to succour, to give rest to, and occasionally provide healing and hope, but they are God’s always-precious gifts.
I suppose what we try to do is to warm hearts, just as Mimi did for Amy. Teaching those who live with us for a season to laugh at darkness and find healing for their pain. Lesley-Anne and I can only do this because someone did it for us. We pray that our boys will continue to grow in these ways because in some small way we have done this for them. Each of us is where we are because of our own personal ‘Mimi’. If your ‘Mimi’ is still this side of Paradise why not make sure you tell them about the love they have shown you before Easter dawns?
A task that may take the rest of your life to complete…
Become ‘Mimi’ for someone close to you and build a home where a younger person feels comfortable ‘because love has made His home inside your heart’.
Shine the light of your gospel
In and through my life each day;
Help me to live as a disciple of Christ,
An ambassador for peace,
And a sign of your loving presence in the world.
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.