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Amazing Grace

woman with arms out 300x200Grace seems to be a popular and somewhat controversial subject in the Christian community nowadays, so before you click out of this page thinking it’s just another one of those intense articles meant to stir up a little debate among the brethren, hear me out. Trust me, I’m not going where you think.

Christianity generally defines grace as:

  • the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done
  • kindness shown by God to man
  • a spontaneous gift from God to man that is generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved
  • divine favor, love and a share in the divine life of God

Sounds great, right?! Yes to Grace! Who wouldn’t want that?!

Let’s take it up a notch.

How about AMAZING grace?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines amazing as:

  • to affect with great wonder, astonishment
  • to overwhelm with surprise
  • causing a strong emotional reaction because of unexpectedness

Wow. Now put all that together and…well…I’m speechless. Just give me a minute to soak in the revelation of all that goodness.

Amazing grace.

Wow.

It’s no wonder that the song “Amazing Grace” written by John Newton in the late 1700’s is the most well-known hymn in the English-speaking world almost 350 years later.

Not long ago I was cleaning my house and singing this hymn. You know how it goes….

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…

Did you hear that?

I didn’t hear it either the first time.

But when I sang it a second time, I heard it.

            Amazing grace, how sweet the SOUND….

What an odd phrase! How sweet the sound? What does that even mean?

I talk to God a lot so I just asked him out loud….”God, what does grace sound like?”

And then I heard it. It was like my life flashed before my eyes, scene after scene, sound after sound. It was a carousel of images swirling around me that sent me to the floor of my living room in a flood of emotion.

I heard my fifth grade teacher tell me I was too special to cheat on a test.

I heard the newborn cry of my oldest girl after doctors said I would have trouble conceiving children.

I heard my children as pre-schoolers laughing on the trampoline with my sister.

I heard my brothers and sisters and their children gathered around the Christmas tree excitedly opening presents.

I heard my young daughter praying over her friends at church camp.

I heard the sound of rain on the pavement and my kids splashing in puddles.

I heard the jingle of keys when someone gave me a car after mine was totaled in a wreck.

I heard my friend tell me their cancer was gone.

I heard my girlfriends giggling.

I heard my husband whisper “I choose you.”

I heard sweet amazing grace.

I heard love and kindness. Gifts from God. So unexpected and undeserved.

This is amazing grace.

Close your eyes. Listen. What does grace sound like to you? Click To Tweet

Still amazed,

-Melissa

 

Melissa Cole-Mathieson
In 2004, I became a single mom to 3 kids under the age of 4 and walked through very difficult years of healing from the disappointment and betrayal I felt from a failed marriage. In that process, I learned how to live utterly dependent on God to take care of my little family….financially, emotionally and spiritually. Ten years later, in 2014, God blessed us with an incredible, redemptive gift in a man named Dave who is now a husband and father to our family.