I love The Message, the way the late Dr. Eugene Peterson captured the breadth of the words in scripture. One of my favorite passages is out of Matthew 11:28-29
But before Peterson even embraced his artful description, John Newton alluded to grace having its own unique sound.
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.
He goes on to talk about the teaching property of grace.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fear relieved
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.
But I’m still caught up on the sound of grace. Grace is God’s favor operating in our lives; undeservedly so and totally because God’s heart is so enormous that he spreads his wings to cover us. Just because. Just because he chooses. Just because he chooses us.
So I let my old school, spiritual eye wander through the scripture and began to imagine what was heard by the first woman Jesus spoke to when he began his ministry. He was the only man speaking to women in public…women who weren’t his wife or mother or sister. When he invited her to join the multitude of followers, when he invited her to come closer and be seated nearer the inner circle because he saw in her a heart that yearned for love and acceptance. A heart that had been so broken, that therefore housed so many holes and compartments, that love could easily enter into myriad openings. A heart that would overflow its own personal acceptance to everyone she met. What did she hear when he spoke? Maybe even called her by name? Did her heart betray the feelings that welled up from her deepest part? Did she weep from the deep well of pain formerly housed in her womb? Did those tears of despair now convert themselves into joyful streams that danced down her face with glee? Joy that the Savior of all mankind as she’d been introduced to him, turned his countenance toward her with assured acceptance, the kind that goes on forever. The kind that burns indelibly in the belly bringing simultaneous consecration and deliverance. The kind that rescues as a “brand from the burning” and marks as a “babe beloved.”