Friday night I spent a bit of time rummaging through some of my old CDs to find something “new” to listen to. I came across a copy of U2’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’. Initially, like everybody else, I picked it up to listen to “Stuck in a Moment” and “Beautiful Day”. But tonight I decided to give it a second listen — to see if there were any gems I might have missed.
Most people know about the band U2, but the media doesn’t make a big deal about the fact that Bono is Christian. If you really take the time to listen to their lyrics, it becomes pretty wonderfully obvious. I don’t know what church he attends or even if he belongs to one, but you can hear his love for Christ in his songs. Tracks like “Pride (in the Name of Love)” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” where most thought he was talking about a woman or some tangible object — but he was really talking about trying to get to a place where he had a closer relationship with God.
……I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I’m still running.
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
It makes a good song into a great one. (For me, anyway.)
Well, tonight I was going through the tracks and there were some okay songs, but nothing really worthy of the iPod. And then I came to Grace.
The scripture tells us about God’s love for us and that His grace covers us from our sin as long as we believe in Him and confess that Christ is Lord. In basic terms, even if we’re good folks who are nice to our neighbors and go to church and help old ladies across the street, there’s probably some stuff (for me, it’s lots of stuff) that we do that causes shame. Things we do that we know are wrong. Thoughts. Evil intentions.
But we don’t have to look down and frown because of this. (We do have to stop, but that’s another post.) But we can be happy because Romans 5:8 says that “God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us“. What that tells me is that God knew that we weren’t perfect and that we wouldn’t be. And this is where grace comes in.
My Bishop did a great sermon one day talking about grace. You know you’re money is due to the creditor on July 1, but the grace period let’s you pay it on the 15th. Basically grace is the favor in God that we have, but that we don’t deserve.
This is a wonderful song. The lyrics are so fitting and so uplifting. I think the main reason why I like the song so much is because it emphasizes the quality of God that amazes me the most. The quality that I try to put into practice — as hard as it may be for us humans. The quality to see beyond a person’s faults and to see their need. The quality that will make you look beyond the fact that the guy you pass on the way to work who’s asking for money might have cursed at you a few times last year — in those same clothes, no less. But you don’t see the hurt that his cursing caused you — just the fact that he’s hungry and that you can help him. Or the fact that your neighbor always plays their music at incredible volume levels while you’re trying to sleep before work — but when he asks you for ten dollars until the end of the week, you don’t think twice about trying to help if you have it. We should try to be more like this in our dealings towards each other. Because in doing that, we’ll be living examples of God’s greatest gift to us less than perfect folks. His grace.
Grace is wonderful, isn’t it?
Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name
Grace, it’s the name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
Grace, she’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things