There was a time when the song Amazing Grace played on every radio station and at least once an hour. It was sung by Judy Collins.
It became a song that my brother and I hated. To us it was the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Plus my mom liked it which of course made it not cool.
The minute it came on we raced to change the station. We joked that whoever died first, the remaining sibling would request Amazing Grace be played. Sadly for me the chance came too soon when my brother died young. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pick that song for him.
Flash forward to now.
I’ve since come to love the song Amazing Grace especially this version by Chris Tomlin.
Last month, my friend Don died. He’d been battling ALS. A disease that chains you to your bed by robbing you of the ability to move your muscles, while leaving your brain alone. It does other things as well, none of them are pleasant. This great man, battled with the grace of a God-filled man. He never complained to those who came to visit. He had a cheerful disposition when we saw him and wanted to know about what was happening in our life.
I would walk or drive past his house and wonder how can he do this? Being trapped in a bed all day, unable to go outside and visit with neighbors or help with the garden?
At his funeral Amazing Grace was played and it made sense! Don knew his chains would soon be broken. He had the hope and promise of living in God’s house when his body failed. I know this from conversations we had while pulling weeds.
Since then I’ve heard Amazing Grace a few times, and I’ve come to embrace it for its meaning. Someday all believers will have their chains holding them to this earth broken and we will be free.
Now when I think of Don I see him waving at me while mowing his grass, or washing his car or bringing me my mail on snowy days. I miss his him and yet I’m so happy for him because I know Don believed in Jesus and he is a free man right now.
I also need to apologize to my mother. The song is cool.
Have you ever had a song you couldn’t stand become one you loved?