Amazing Grace…


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