Back in the 1700’s, a pale-skinned, English sailer wrote a poem that ended up becoming one of the most well known songs of the English-speaking world. His story is not much different than yours and mine (relevant to the time) but the revelation he shared is powerful beyond measure.

John was headstrong, disobedient, vulgar and cruel. He was forced into the Royal Navy with hopes that some structure and discipline would do him some good. He went awol and joined a ship with a captain who didn’t much appreciate his profane nature. So during a stop in West Africa, John was purposefully left with a local slave owner who then made him a servant of the slaves. After being rescued 3 years later, John finally found his sea legs as a captain of slave ships. While taking inventory of his life some 30 years after he retired, he penned a poem that speaks of an unimaginable love, an amazing grace if you will, that freed him from the pain that comes when looking at ourselves in the mirror.

Grace, in it’s purest form, is love that seeks you out regardless of your worthiness (thank you LFC). This love can come from above, from you to me, me to you, AND from me to me. That’s right, you can (and should) give yourself some grace if you are a perfectionist, high achiever, hard worker, big hearted leader of anything. You see, these types of people tend to be their hardest critic and don’t typically let themselves off the hook so to speak.

God knows we could all use a little more love and less hate for each other AND ourselves. When is the last time you gave this love to another who didn’t deserve it? When is the last time you truly received such love when you haven’t earned it? Thank you Captain John Newton for describing the amazing gift of giving AND receiving grace. Thank you to those who set this poem, from a white slave ship captain, to a West African sorrow chant and made them ONE… oh how sweet the sound.

6 thoughts on “Grace…

  1. Grace for myself had to be learned the hard way, through hard times and loss. But once grace was both given and taken, I was free to see the next step. Just like in Blue Like Jazz and Mark 12:31 – Love your neighbor as yourself implies that you do in fact love yourself. That you care for yourself, that you give yourself grace. This had to be learned multiple ways, the hard way, the long way…but now I see.

  2. Wow that is an awesome story, and yes much appreciated for looking at my last few weeks and days to come. We are, all doing the best we can with what we know and are capable of thinking and doing. I have been graced with the ability to work with you. Fact! I have come a long way in the last year as it relates to how i view myself, business, staff/team and opportunities for the future. I feel it, see it, appreciate it, crave more of it, and wish for everyone to have this opportunity for growth.
    Thanks, David.

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