Amazing grace for a telemarketer?

John 1:16
“And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (ESV)

Today’s Thought
Amazing Grace is one of the best-known hymns. And for a lot of us it conjures up special memories.

When I hear it on the bagpipes I think of my Grandpa Ruttan. He was the pipe major in the Bracebridge Legion Band for years. When I was young and would come home from school, I remember hearing his pipes echoing that powerful melody through the trees and over the hill as he practiced outside his log home before evening practice.

As a pastor, I often invite people to sing the first verse a capella when we’re gathered around the grave of a loved one:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

That kind of grace is… amazing!

But when you get used to something it becomes predictable. When that happens, you need to do something to remind yourself that God’s goodness is always… surprising.

While at speaking in Toronto, Philip Yancey asked if anyone wanted to tell about their experience of sharing grace with others. A lady stood up and said:

“I feel called to minister to telephone marketers. You know, the kind who call at inconvenient hours and deliver their spiel before you can say a word… I try to respond kindly, though I almost never buy what they’re selling. Instead, I ask about their personal life and whether they have any concerns I can pray for. Often they ask me to pray with them over the phone, and sometimes they are in tears. They’re people, after all, probably underpaid, and they’re surprised when someone treats them with common courtesy.”

When I heard that I immediately thought of all the times I simply cut them off and said I wasn’t interested!

My point is this: God continually overflows our lives with a grace that is surprising. If you’ve started to take it for granted, maybe what you need to do is show some surprising grace to somebody else.

I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • The words to Amazing Grace were written by John Newton.
  • The story from Philip Yancey is told in his book Vanishing Grace.

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