Sunday, March 18, 2007

Amazing Grace

Grace to you and peace from God our Father



Grace:

favor or good will.
mercy; clemency; pardon: an act of grace.
the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.



Mercy:

compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence

Today the kids and I went to see the movie Amazing Grace. I was warned ahead of time to bring a box of kleenex. City Boy's family has a rating sytem; it's not how many inappropriate scenes for children, rather how many boxes of tissue you may go through during a move. I hadn't heard how many boxes this one would require, and in fact, I'd rather forgotten to pack the tissue so was left snatching up napkins and pretending it was for the popcorn once in the theatre.




I'm happy to report, however, that boxes of tissue were not needed; at least not in my case. Then again, I'm one of the few people who never cried during the Passion of the Christ. Lest you think my tear ducts be clogged, I assure you they are not. In fact, I did cry during the movie...or at least, at the end of it. Nothing can make this girl tear up quicker than a screen full of men wearing plaid skirts, showing off their knees and pumping away on bagpipes to the tune of Amazing Grace. Wouldn't you agree?

In the very first scene we're set up with an act of compassion and grace. There is a horse laying upon the ground, his master is beating him in an effort to make him return to his feet. Darling buried her head into my shoulder immediately, but kept her eyes on the screen. But grace came along in our hero, William Wilburforce, as he stops his carriage and recommends the men allow their horse some time to recover. Grace. He didn't beat the men's faces in like many of us would like to do had we come across that scene. Mercy. They'd deserved it, but hadn't received a brutal punishment for their actions.


But this movie is not really about horses being beaten. It's about slavery and God's amazing grace.


There were roughly over 10 million African's put onto those slave ships. That's a number I can barely comprehend. A ten, with six zeros. I can't even visualize what one million would look like! And yet, over ten million men, women and children were put into shackles and brought in boxes; yes, boxes the size of a coffin; to work as slaves.



The song Amazing Grace was writting by John Newton, a former slave trader. Later in life he gave up his profession and became a minister, speaking out against the slave trade. While it would be our inclination to condemn him and others, John Newton realized that God's grace was upon him. He experienced grace in the form of mercy. Mercy, which is not receiving something that you deserve.

And so it was throughout the movie that I asked myself how many times I'd been shown grace or mercy. And how often do I show it to others? I'm afraid I take for granted the mercy shown to me by others. I'm also far too quick to offer judgement over pardon to those who offend.

I have a challenge to put forth to you. I'm going to recognize when grace and mercy have been shown to me this week. And I'm also going to offer it to others. Will you join me? Will you post here the grace you've received from others?

And...will you share this with a friend? I'd love to see how many acts of grace we can recognize in our lives around the world!


18 comments:

Oh, The Joys said...

I really want to see that film!

Rachelle said...

It sounds like a great movie. I don't get out much so I'm not sure I passed on any such moments... But I did have one happen to me yesterday...

Somehow during the night Saturday, the can holding the goat chow was tipped over in the feed room and the rats had a field day. 100 lbs of grain gone or just wasted. Well, the goats got thier hay but really wanted their chow too. I had checks that needed to be cashed but no cash or $ in the checking account. But I wasn't worried. I had enough to last until Wednesday... well, before the rats got to it anyway.

Sunday morning we cleaned up the remaining spoiled grain and went about our day, promising the goats that they'd get their grain bright and early on Monday. A friend came over to see the new kids and asked why the mamma's were still calling. So I explained about the grain and explained how one day missed wouldn't hurt them, but you know goats. They think the world has ended if they don't get what they want when they want.

After a while he left to go to work and I went inside to do my baking. About an hour later I heard Aspen barking and went to investigate....

There was our friend with a bucket and scoop, out in the pens, graining the goats. He'd called his boss said he'd be a little late, went to the feed store and bought a bag of goat chow for the goats. Then came back out, poured it in the can, got a bucket, and proceeded to feed the goats their grain.

Now I'm not sure if this fits with what you were talking about or not, or if it's just one of the Ramdom Acts Of Kindness. But to me sometimes they're one and the same.

patches said...

Great photo of the sun's reflection.

LZ Blogger said...

VERY NICE! ~ jb///

Beemoosie said...

I have goosebumps. I could not even begin to tell you the grace and mercy I have received in my lifetime. The biggest earthly mercy I have received is from my parents who came to me and my babies one night almost 13 years ago to pick up the pieces of all my bad decisions. I had treated them like that owl puke of yours for a good 5 years, but when I needed them most they got me back on my feet! God did the same for me softening my heart through their actions.
Great post!

Sue said...

Wonderful post Tracey, love the photo of the cross. Did you want a long ago memory or something that has happened recently?

Tracey said...

Sue...long ago or recent. I'd been thinking recent, just in an effort to get us to realize the mercies all around us. But sometimes it takes an old act to jog our memories, eh? Just post what your heart dictates!

Kahshe Cottager said...

Lovely reflections in both photo and thoughts.

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I have been gone for a couple of days and believe me, I have missed reading your blog. Came home today and had a package from you. Hate to say it but I cried. The only way you know me is through this screen and yet, you have became a dear friend to me. It seemed the package arrived just when I needed to know that someone was thinking of me. Jon Brandon is leaving in 3 wks and it has really tore me up.I'm not one to talk about my feelings yet, there was my friend letting me know that she was thinking of me. Thank you for the package and most of all for being a friend. I pray that I can show you the kindness in return.
Laura

Alpicks Treasures said...

That movie sounds nice, but I am not in the mood for crying, I have done my share of that this last year. Have a great week.

Sornie said...

I saw the title "Amazing Grace" and was instantly reminded of the annual tradition of bagpipers as we watched the band late Saturday afternoon while celebrating St. Paddy's Day.

Marion said...

I've been wanting to see that film, thanks for reminding me.

I love the photo with the reflection of the sun!

FarmgirlCyn said...

Mercy and grace follow me constantly. Thank God His mercies are new every morning, as that is how often I need them! On an almost daily basis, I get phone calls and e-mails from friends, inquiring about the things going on in our life. Last week a blogging friend, who I have never met, blessed me with a cookbook I had desired. Meals have been brought in from friends who know we have been at the hospital with my stepdad, and know the kids have had to fend for themselves. Can anyone say "ramen noodles"??? And when I have been less than sweet, my family forgives me. Even before I ask. Even when I don't ask. I am a daily recipient of mercy and grace. Thank God.

RoseMary said...

It would be too hard to count the mercy and grace that has been shown to me. I just pray that I can give out more of it myself. Thanks for a great post, Tracey.

Dorky Dad said...

I should probably know this off the top of my head but I can't think of a great example of grace given to me by others recently ... plenty by God, and I know many people have shown me quite a bit of grace over the years. I must think ...

The Wife saw this movie. I have yet to see it, though I've heard many good things about it.

Excellent post!

Rachel said...

This was truly a wonderful post. I have not seen that movie.

Last summer when it was so hot my neighbor mowed my lawn so many times! He will not take any payment and just does it! I do make them apple pies and such to show my appreciation, but it has truly been wonderful to have it done for me so much when it was so hot!! That is just one example I mention, but I have received much grace and mercy in my lifetime!

Tracey said...

Thank you so much for all the comments and thoughts that you've shared! The movie was just so inspring to me that I felt a real need to move from my typical silliness here on the farm. I wondered how you'd all receive it, and of course it was with grace!

I hope that you all ponder the subject of grace this week. Recognize when you aren't deserving, and pour out mercy upon others.

As for me here...well, God's grace is plentiful on a daily basis. But I sat all day thinking of what other small acts of grace and mercies must go un-noticed. City Boy is always offering grace to me; I'm a horrible housekeeper, and yet he says little and tolerates me blaa blaa blogging here day in and day out. Thank you, City Boy, for that bit of daily grace from you!

Teeny Tiny cabin said...

This is a bit late in coming-but just wanted to say how thankful I am to God for having mercy on me and saving me out of a life of drugs and drunkenness! That happened over 20 years ago and I have never gotten over the amazement of the gift of Salvation.
Thanks for the encouragement to share, Claudia O.