On the day of our departure from New York City, last spring- the morning was dreary and damp- our hotel was a mere half block from St. Patrick’s Cathedral- I peered out the window facing the great Rockefeller Center and could see that our block had been cordoned off by New York City Police Officers- a crowd huddled under umbrellas was forming…I heard a solitary bass drum and then the bagpipes. I motioned for my husband to come to the window. We watched as a funeral procession came solemnly down the street- right in front of our hotel. We could see the bagpipers and the drummers in dark coats with frilled shirts and dark watch plaid kilts followed by a crowd of mourners…one spot was missing in the line of bagpipers… Amazing Grace was being played solemnly and mournfully- but with an haunting beauty. Silently awed, we watched them go by, mourners oblivious to the dreary damp weather. The processional was for a fallen New York City Policeman. The Power of the Song, Amazing Grace never fails…

My husband is a guitarist, for many years he has gone to nursing homes to play for the residents. Instrumentally, he gently plays this great song- Amazing Grace. The first time he was asked to play for an Alzheimer’s Unit, he decided to do his regular list of songs…the residents sat still and unresponsive, until… softly he began to play Amazing Grace. One by one- the residents stirred, became alert and some began to sing. I want to cry every time I think of it- minds that have grown dim and dark are enlightened for a few brief moments by Amazing Grace. Down through these many years now- my husband has continued to play for these units- and every. single. time- Amazing Grace has had the same effect.

Where bitterness is shed abroad in this poor bleeding world, hardened by hatred, stumbling from blunder to blunder, the earth is punctured with even more graves this week. We grieve and  we wonder how to recover common sense, much less common courtesy. As hatred rears it’s ugly head, when evil seems to triumph- when events beyond human comprehension happen- the one thing that seems to shine through the broken shards of humanity- is the beautiful stained glass of God’s Love and Amazing Grace.

I have no answers, no wisdom to bestow- all I know for sure, is that we must lift up our hands as the spires of cathedrals toward heaven– find a way to be ministers of peaceful mercy and ambassadors of His Amazing Grace. If each of us will do what we can to live together as people who have been forgiven a great debt- if we will walk gently among those who have suffered; resolve within ourselves- not to add one more ounce of suffering or cause one needless tear to flow, perhaps, the world will rest a little easier. Will you listen with me to Andre Rieu’s dramatic, awe inspiring rendition of Amazing Grace, in honor of the injured and fallen police officers in Dallas?  May God have mercy on us and strengthen our resolve to bring His Grace, Mercy and Peace to a suffering world.

Love y’all, Camellia

11 thoughts on “Amazing Grace…

  1. I live very near the main channel that leads through Clear Lake to Galveston Bay. Once a year — I’m not sure exactly when, but I think it’s in October — a boat sails through that channel with a bagpiper at the bow. And, yes — he’s playing “Amazing Grace.” Surely it’s a commemoration of some sort — of a friend now gone, perhaps. But it’s utterly haunting, and stops everyone in their tracks when it happens.

    Coincidentally, I never had heard of Andre Rieu until last night, when I was looking for a good version of “Going Home,” the song set to the second movement of Dvorak’s 9th for a comment in my blog. That’s when I found his. The video is lovely, and you might enjoy it, too. (No, i don’t know how I missed Andre Rieu. I tend not to pay attention, sometimes.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I found him a few years ago- and was blown away. He was in NYC in concert and was singing- ‘My Way’ and there was a very moving film of Frank Sinatra throughout- he is a fan of Sinatra. A friend shared the youtube on Facebook! As I have found him again and again, I truly admire him! I will check out the video- now isn’t that something?? lovely story about the bagpiper sailing through- oh gives me chills! thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We ducked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral out of the rain this past spring as well. What a beautiful sanctuary! And what a beautiful post you’ve written about your experiences there, Brenda. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh thank you! yes, the first time we have been to St. Patrick’ssince the ‘shroud’ of netting to clean the cathedral has been removed…we wish we could get to nyc more often- we have dear dear friends who live there…it was a chilly spring up that way, wasn’t it?


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