"God gives you grace,
and you can't earn it.
Don't think that you
don't deserve it..."
Sometimes a song comes along that says exactly what is in your heart. Amy Grant's new song "Don't Try So Hard" featuring James Taylor, is the perfect coalescence of message -- and messengers -- for me. It "had me" at hello.
I clearly remember the moment -- as a child -- when I began to think that my life depended on pleasing everyone around me. Perfect grades, an immaculate room, sparkling dishes, seen - but not heard, obedient, every hair in place -- were the key to survival. It was my job to earn respect, love, acceptance, approval, tolerance.
I also remember the day -- as a woman -- when I began to consider a different truth. Grace -- the unearned love of God, my divine Parent, my Maker - who is my Husband, the Friend of the friendless. It was the day I began to trust the power and presence of grace operating as an active agent in the collective heart of universal humanity.
Webster defines grace as "the divine influence on the heart, and its reflection on the life." Amy's sense of grace as unearned and irresistible, has taken an even deeper hold in my heart.
When I hear her song I can't help but think of the older brother in Jesus' story of The Prodigal son. He thinks he has had to earn his father's love, acceptance, gifts -- the reward of the faithful. But it was always all his...and his brother's.
Their father's love wasn't proffered (or held back) as a reaction to their good (or bad) behavior. His love was part and parcel to his very nature as their father. He wasn't asking them to prove their right to his love, thereby giving him permission to love them. It was just who he was and what a father does. And it is just who God is -- and what He does. God is Love.
I will let Amy's song, "Don't Try So Hard" be my prayer of grace -- for each of us today.
shared with Love,