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Day 231: amazing grace

19 Aug

The first time I ever went on my own to church was not for the grace of God.

It was for a boy.
The Cute Boy.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

I spotted him at school in our junior high hallways, and then saw him again one Sunday when I tagged along with a friend and her family to the Methodist Church.  Once I knew where he went to church I accepted every invitation ever extended to worship.

Problem was, I was worshipping a really cute boy sitting a few pews behind me.  I know, it’s sad that a boy (who didn’t know I existed) led me to church.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Today, as I sat in the second pew of the Union Chapel, in Oak Bluffs, I remembered the boy who first led me to church — that is, freely and of my own volition.

It’s not like church was a foreign place to me, my grandfather was a preacher.  My mother was devout.  My first memory of church is sitting in the front row, listening to my grandfather preach, while eating Cheerios out of my mother’s hand.  I was that little.

But, something happened after my grandfather died.  Inspiration and spirituality were still abundant in our lives, but church, for the most part, disappeared.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

Until The Cute Boy entered mine.
I never had a single conversation with The Cute Boy.  He was just eye candy.  The Cute Boy and his family eventually moved away, but, somewhere in that process, I got hooked on church.

And, then my mother and I were diagnosed with cancer, within a month of each other.  We did everything together; surgeries together, lost our hair together, and we were baptisted together at that same church where The Cute Boy originally led me.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

Today, as I stood under the beautiful octagon above the Union Chapel, sunlight spilling in the glass windows, singing Amazing Grace, my eyes began to tear.

I’m not sure why… it could have been the memory of my mother who always cried in church.  It could have been the spirit and the vibe in that tiny packed church filled with incredible song. It could have been the actual song, Amazing Grace, that has always called to me.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

And, then the woman standing next to me, a total stranger, saw the tears rolling down my eyes and reached for my hand.  Together we stood, she holding my hand, me sobbing like a baby, singing together.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

And, that made me think…
I suppose it doesn’t matter where you go or what leads you to worship, be it the father, the son, the holy ghost, or a really cute boy.

As long as your soul is touched and your spirit flies…
It is amazing grace.

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