I won’t treat you like you’re neurotypical — I haven’t slept in a week and a half due to this bloody head cold, and this is where my brain goes.
I’m listening (and try to hold your gasp of surprise here) to Brandi Carlile’s latest, Bear Creek. Religious language abounds through the whole album. On “In the Morrow’ the narrator ‘took up my cross and walked away / with amazing grace and open eyes.’
Then in “That Wasn’t Me’ there’s this line where she sings/accuses/informs ‘To be wrong all along and admit / it is not amazing grace.’
Admission, acknowledgement, even restitution, not amazing grace. Just part of what we as humans are supposed to be striving towards. If anything requires amazing grace, it’s for the one(s) wronged to be able to truly forgive, and the two parties to move together.
But we seem to be in a place - from politics to interpersonal relationships - where an admission of wrong isn’t lauded or even accepted, but used against someone as a weapon. And who wants to hand their enemies or their loved ones a sword to use against them?
It’s a phrase that strikes me in hymns, but even more when used well in the ‘rock music’ preached against in the sermons following those hymns. In church, the words are too often sung in context and tone as a dirge. In rock, they’re usually used together to describe an ideal. Those two words hold such power separately, and such a wealth of meaning together, I cannot wrap my mind fully around it.
As Dr. Dog sings, ‘why you think we need amazing grace just to tell it like it is?’ Because we’re that far gone. Amazing Grace shouldn’t be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be needed for basic humanity like admitting one is wrong. Yet it is available for the little things, everything. Still we don’t take advantage of it for anything.
Open eyes, broken hearts, wounded relationships, drained of grace.