finding grace

One of the most well-known hymns in the world was written by John Newton.  A few of my favorite verses go like this …

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Today I finished reading Finding Grace: a memoir by Donna VanLiere.   In this memoir, Donna gives a bit of her personal history … a desert wandering … a discovery of grace … a realization of redemption … the redemption of pain, loss, suffering … and a joy unshakeable.

While I could talk about the freshness of Donna’s writing, the poignant story, the combination of narration and reflection …  it is her insight that grace is often realized experientially in the challenges of life that spoke to my heart. 

I am reminded of Paul … asking God to remove the thorn in his flesh … and God’s reminder … “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

Donna writes, “He [God] had instead chosen the painstaking way of love, breaking through the chinks of our heart with small taps of grace.”

Once again … I am challenged to step back, step away from my circumstances … to gain a better view … a supernatural perspective … God’s grace abounding all about me.

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
       guilty of dust and sin.  But quicked-ey’d Love, Observing me grow slack
       from my first entrance in, Drew near to me, sweetly questioning,
       if I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
       Love said, You should be he.  I the unkinde, engrateful? ah my deare,
       I can not look on thee.  Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
       Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I hav marr’d them: let my shame
       go where it doth deserve.  And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
       My deare, then I will serve.  You must sit down, sayes love, and taste my meat:
       So I did sit and eat. 
~ George Herbert 

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