#Mercy & Grace · Amy Grant · Church of England · Felixstowe · Growing in God · Lent · poem · Prayer

Mercy & Grace – Day 26

hands on window

Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant

Day 26 – Thursday after 4th 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 the Covid19 pandemic which is affecting the whole world

 

To Read:  

From the Scriptures:

8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.    (2 Peter 3.8-9)

From Amy Grant:                                “The Prodigal”

I face the day again
Against the window pane.
I remain your closest friend,
And wish you back again,
You wonder how I feel;
You think you’ve pushed too far.
If only you could see this pen
Scribbling down my heart

I’ll be waiting.
I may be young or old and grey
Counting the days,
But I’ll be waiting,
And when I finally see you come,
I’ll run when I see you,
I’ll meet you

But still the days drag on.
Why did you decide to go?
Did you only need to see
What only time can show?

I’ll be waiting…

And even if
You never do return
Still I will have learned
How to love you better

I’ll be waiting…

  

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td6jgKjikck

 

To Reflect: 

I do not like waiting.  I get impatient. I get irritable. I start making alternative plans.

I pick up things to do and when the other person arrives (or the event finally starts) I am already busy.  I walk away and generally moan about how busy I am and how I have other things I can do instead.  I, and I am not always good at hiding this, can easily slip into thinking that what I have to do is more important than whatever anyone else wants to do, say, or even just be.

But when I have to wait I am not always (thank heavens) like this.  Occasionally I wait with knots of excitement in my stomach, or with bowed head and knees knowing that to wait brings the gift of time to pray.  Sometimes it is even – and I can only imagine how this really feels – as if perhaps I am with child and wait in a place between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’.  Something is growing within me which is alive but not yet born and until that day I must be content to brood and ponder and allow ‘my’ time to be in the hands of another.

When it comes to the ills of the world, the abuse and neglect, the floods and storms, the famine and the greed, about which we have heard Amy sing these last three days, a certain amount of impatience is essential.  To not work to change things, to suggest that ‘things will work out in the end’, or proclaim that ‘people have always done things that way’, is to be complicit in the misdeeds of others.  Occasionally ‘impatience’ is a virtue.

How much love Mother Teresa

However, because God waits for me, I must learn to wait for others as well and, when the prodigal returns home, extend a welcome. Just as I expect the wealthy to be generous I must be generous with my time and make space for everyone – after all I have vowed to give my whole life away to others. I must learn, though it hurts and sends my mind into overdrive, to welcome the person on the Sex Offenders Register to communion and give thanks for a life trying to turn from deep darkness to an eternal light.  I must learn to put aside the tasks that must be done ‘now’ and wait for the homeless old woman and the outcasts living on charity – resisting the temptation to label them as useless or spongers.  I must even learn to cherish that one person in church who always seems to know exactly what to do to irritate me the most!  (Do you have one such in your church community?)  I must also learn, and be humbled by the knowledge, that I am almost certainly the ‘irritant’ in the plans that fellow sisters and brothers have made for themselves.

And I must learn these words:

And even if
You never do return
Still I will have learned
How to love you better

For if I (if we) can learn to love through my heart’s ache for a brother or sister who is not yet home, it will indeed be a lesson worth waiting for.

 

To Do:

The next time you are in a queue somewhere, at a shop or in a bank perhaps, give up a place in the queue to another.  This will work especially well if you are in a hurry

 

To Pray:

I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge use, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’  Rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?’                               Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Pilgrim

Acknowledgements:

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.

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