Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found,
Was blind, but now I see.
I am not the biggest fan of Christian music, but this song always manages to stir my soul at a deep level. I like the idea of Amazing Grace. Or to put it more honestly, I need Amazing Grace in my life. I half-jokingly shared with a co-worker that I start and end every day with, “I sorry; please forgive me.” If there was ever an award for offending people, I think it would go to me. What really gets me is that I am not terribly intentional or pre-meditated about offending others; this ability just seems to come naturally. I wish I could describe how many evenings I go to bed desiring a do-over for the day or week. That is not how life works. So I find myself in constant need of forgiveness and grace.
Lately I have been challenged to think about Amazing Grace as it applies to others, particularly when someone has hurt me. I know that I am a wretch and I need a God who finds me and heals me from my blindness. So why is it that I have such a tough time dealing with the wretchedness, lostness and blindness of others?
There is a strange hypocrisy that allows for grace in my life and demands perfection in the lives of others. The honest truth is that I do not like being hurt or disappointed by others.
According to the church calendar we are in the season of Lent, a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for Easter. It is not uncommon for people to give up something during Lent. This year I want to give up my need to judge and condemn others. I want to find ways to make Amazing Grace accessible even to those who have hurt me.
Maybe this is the point of Easter and of the Christian faith — forgiving and loving those who have hurt us deeply.
Glenn Balzer is the executive director of the DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection) Network and attends His Love Fellowship in Denver. He blogs at glennbalzer.com, where this post first appeared.