Notes from Jan

An AMAZING Thought or Two

April 8, 2019

The box read,”You’re AMAZING.” I swallowed the message with my morning coffee. Today’s Monday and a dreary one, when anything remotely encouraging comes as a gift, which it was.

Not like I’d never seen the pink boxes as I’d scooted past the cosmetics counters, fearing I’d be snatched, seated on a stool and featured as a before commercial for some product. The box, a gift from a friend for speaking at an event, contained body cream and shampoo/shower gel entitled, “Amazing grace.”

Felt nervy to me, putting those two words together on a chemical compound. Growing up in the south, it was a rare Sunday night, when someone didn’t ask to sing, Amazing Grace. We knew it by memory but not all of us by heart, kinda like these marketers of grace. 

And yet, I was intrigued by their words. “Philosophy: happiness begins with grace.” The company stated,”Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher, each day is a test, and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace.” I’m all for deep thinking but sometimes all one wants from a box is something more akin to finding a surprise in some Cracker Jacks.

OK. There’s grace and there’s Grace. One, a manner of relating to one another with respect, good manners, kindness and the other, the truly Amazing Grace, is life altering. One, the potential to cleanse hair, body and soften skin, the Other, bathe us in forgiveness, mercy, and Love powerful enough to “save a wretch like me” or you.

The company’s correct about being students and teachers with daily tests and the jar of cream speaks a truth,”With every act of grace, the world gains a touch more love.”

Saturday night, I read from the Message in Matthew 11 these words, good for a Monday morning, when the week ahead looms large and strength seems sluggish. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace. “

This weary world and all God’s creation need acts of grace with its good manners and kindness. And all of us need what God’s Amazing Grace alone can do.

Paused to open up the jar and test a dab of cream. The gift of friendship lifted my spirits while oils soothed tired skin, weathered by winter and the gift of years, leaving me aware I’d just experienced grace upon Grace.

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  • Reply Myrna April 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I love both kinds of Grace! The one Philosophy puts in a container and God’s grace. Grace upon grace…… well said. 🙂

  • Reply Linda Coonrod April 8, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    How timely! I was just listening to NPR today, and heard from a commentator how when he hears “Amazing Grace” played he thinks of a particular very admirable humanitarian couple as the epitome of “grace”. And it made me pause, and consider how the world sees “grace” through such a different lens if they are not looking at God’s truly “Amazing Grace”!! Thanks for this reflection!!!

  • Reply Dale April 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    The most wonderful thing is to experience being saved by grace, while the most difficult thing is to live by it – probably why God keeps bringing people (I have an assortment of names for them) into my life to test this reality.

    Blessings dear friend, Dale

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