Who is Amazing Grace, Anyway?

Unfortunately, a nasty stomach bug got the best of my nine year-old son William this past weekend.  I found myself sitting with him as he lounged in and out of sleep in front of the TV.  During his sickness, he was so calm, reasonable and responsible - eating a dry toast dinner without complaint, making quick beelines to the bathroom, and showing gratitude with multiple “thank you Mom’s” when I brought him meager sustenance and plenty of liquids.

But somewhere around his tenth sweet “thank you” I panicked because I suddenly became entirely conscious that he’s growing up so fast.  Most days go by so quickly, I don’t realize how much older he’s gotten. When I think about how much he’s grown, I love and hate it at the same time. If he didn’t grow up, he wouldn’t be making the progress he’s intended to make, of course.  But it doesn’t negate the grief I feel when each of my children matures and loses their innocent sweet voices, chubby cheeks and baby soft skin.

I was watching him in his misery, and I wasn’t sure whether to cry or just wrap my arms around him.  That’s when he popped his head up off his pillow and asked, “Who is amazing Grace, anyway?”

He had just sleepily watched a commercial for the TV show The Amazing Race, which prompted him to think of that familiar hymn we’ve sung so many times at church and was also an integral part of his grandpa’s funeral last year.

Realizing the poor kid’s confusion, I explained “grace” wasn’t a person, but something God gave us – a wonderful undeserved gift of love and mercy for all mankind.  He nodded and plopped his head back on his pillow – too feverish and tired and not caring much about what I said after it became clear “grace” wasn’t a superhero-like woman who triumphantly saved someone.

As funny and unexpected as this exchange was, it reminded me of God’s grace bestowed on all of us, even in our most panicked times.  Whether we’re living life too quickly or too slowly because of illness, amazing grace rescues us…in a more powerful and lasting way than any super hero ever could.

  • Tara Edelschick

    I think William is on to something. Imagine the possibilities…

    Amazing Grace: You can catch her every week on Channel 4, saving wretches, finding the lost, and healing the blind. You may fear her; but once you do, she’ll free you from the same. She wears no cape, but she is invisible – until the hour you first believe!

  • Virginia

    It’s always interesting to learn how children hear things. My little daughter thought that the hymn “Jesus, once of humble birth . . .” said “Jesus, once a humble bird . . .” It was funny, but reminded me of the beautiful lines from the poem “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins: “there lives the dearest freshness deep down things because the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with Ah! bright wings.”

  • emily

    Thanks Jean,
    What a great story! I so often feel the same anxieties. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you,but during that time, I know you have sent kids off to college as well. Sure, it’s part of what we spend our time raising them to do, so it is good, but…. it is a reminder of how little time we have with them under our roof. sometimes that 18 year journey can seem endless, but it goes by in a flash. I only wish I had been able to find more joy in each day and in our journey with them! in the midst of our busy lives, it is so easy to forget to slow down and cherish them!

    • http://sixseeds.tv Jean Yih Kingston

      So so true Emily! Thanks for reading and commenting. Our firstborn is college-aged but currently in the middle of a gap year. We did send her to boarding school, 25 mins away from here (a whole other topic to blog about really) but we haven’t yet experienced the college thing yet (the tears will come in Sept)! How do we know each other? I’d love to hear back from you!!

  • http://Altarofheaven.wordpress.com Arcelia

    I love those moments when God allows us to teach our children about His grace. I’m so thankful for His grace and allowing me to raise His sheep that grow so quickly in size…I’m praying the also grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing.