Last week, I happened to buy Amy Grant’s latest CD called “Time Again…Live”. It is a live album celebrating her nearly 30 years in the music business compiling some of her most memorable and successful tunes.
As I was listening to some of the songs while driving, I could not help but go down a memory lane of sorts.
I first became aware of Amy Grant while in a Sunday school class during my sophomore year of high school. My Sunday school teacher Mary Garland was a mom of six with more than half of those children being older than me. She played one of those what we would now call retro cassete players with Amy Grant’s Never Alone playing in the background as we worked on some project as a class. After class, I asked her who was playing on that tape. She informed me and I went to One Way Books and bought what would be the first of many Amy Grant tapes, albums and later CD’s.
I listened to that particular tape until it began to squeak as it played. I loved it…it brought refreshment to my soul. Amy became a “dear friend” as she fleshed out her life of faith as she sang. Excitement was palpable when I was able to see Amy Grant up close and personal as she came to my hometown with just a guitar and a stool. This was followed by many roadtrips with friends to see her in concert.
We loved her hair, her style and we cheered when she married Gary Chapman, who had written “Father’s Eyes”. We sang her songs at slumber parties and in the car after we had been to the latest concert and we all secretly wished that we could have the life that she had. She topped the Christian music scene for decades and she was elevated to the poster child for Christian music and really Christianity. As the years passed she went mainstream and captured a new and wider audience which divided Christians…was this right…hey, she’s ours…come back to us…this is great, spread the message….
Down the road a bit farther, her marriage had ended and the Christian world was turned upside down…how was this possible? Conversations with friends left us confused and sad. Had we built her up so high that she had no where else to go but to fall in our eyes? Could we listen to her music anymore? What happened? Maybe we were spending far too much time worshipping her and not the Creator of Amy Grant.
As I listened to “In A Little While”, I couldn’t help but dwell on the simplicity and deep truth of this song:
In a little while,
We’ll be with the Father,
Can’t you see Him smile?
In a little while,
We’ll be home forever,
In a little while…
We’re just here to learn to love Him;
We’ll be home in just a little while.
Days like these are just a test of our will.
Will we walk or will we fall?
Well, I can almost see the top of the hill,
And I believe it’s worth it all.
Each day we all make choices…some are good and some not so good. I am sure that if anyone was to look at my life, there would be a lot that would be fair game to criticize and look harshly upon. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my life displayed on magazine covers or be the topic of national discussion…intense!
Like the song states…we are just here to learn to love Him but in the midst of it He is smiling at us despite the many times we fall. Today I need the reminder that I will be with the Father one day and the whole of my life will be worth it all.
Thank you Amy Grant…you provided me with a place to grow in my Christian walk when I needed it desperately. Thank you for your vulnerability. I believe that the first time I ever raised my hands to worship was at a concert during the singing of “Thy Word”…you will never know how many people you have touched by using the gifts you possess…but God knows! Thank you for showing us that you can still stand despite hardship.