I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the greatest (and most familiar) hymns of the church is Amazing Grace, written by John Newton. I don’t believe there has ever been a song written that captures the very essence of the transforming power God has over our lives as believers quite like that hymn.
However, I must admit that as a child, every time I would hear this hymn sung in church, there was one phrase that would always leave me confused. Just didn’t make much sense to me.
“Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound, That Saved A Wretch Like Me…”
Wait just one minute! Did anyone hear what I just heard? Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound?
Every time I heard that phrase I would look up and around at all the grownups singing, just to see if anyone was as puzzled as I was. Never found one.
Finally, I mustered enough courage to ask someone. But not just anyone.
I went to see Leola Ford. She was one of the senior members of our church’s choir.
Leola was somewhat of a source of inspiration for our church, and especially for me. Strangely enough, it was not because of her singing. But rather it was because Leola Ford was blind.
After service one day, I asked her a question that my inquiring mind just had to know. She seemed like the right person to ask.
The Question: Does grace have a sound?
I remember the look on her face like it was yesterday. But more importantly, I remember the answer she gave me. It is one that has stayed with me for quite some time. Leola reached out to locate the top of my head, and as she gave me a few light pats, she leaned over and whispered these words:
“Live A Little Longer. You’ll Hear It.”
While it didn’t make sense to me then, fast forward several years, and I now understand exactly what she meant. Grace indeed has a sound.
It’s the sound my minivan made last week, just as I slammed on the brakes to avoid colliding with that metal object that flew off the back of a truck in front of me.
It’s the sound of my wife’s 87-year old grandmother blowing out the candles on her birthday cake last month, as she endures the inconvenience of dialysis treatment every week.
It’s the sound my new neighbor’s keys make, as she opens the door to a home that someone else last summer no longer had the money to keep.
The sounds of grace are all around us.
If we could ever (as believers) become blind to some of the things we complain about regarding our lives, and open our ears towards a faithful God, we may be surprised to discover a symphony of grace and salvation.
God’s grace is more than amazing.
It’s the sweetest sound I know.
by Milan Ford