Grace will always lead us home...

One of my all time favorite songs is Amazing Grace. I have probably 20 different artist's renditions of this beautiful song - from gospel to pop to country and even a couple in Spanish. Recently a few friends of mine and I decided to go feed the homeless. In our city you have to have a health department permit as well as a city permit to dispense food items to do this.

We had been playing some card games and enjoying my next door neighbors' home made beer and wine. It was getting late... already into Saturday morning. Someone looked out the front window and the commented about our drive home and the bad cold rainy weather that we were experiencing.  

All of a sudden someone suggested we should go feed the homeless people living under a bridge downtown. Then someone else (an accountant) mentioned how we had to have all sorts of permits or risk going to jail. And I said in my Mexican bravado possibly with the courage of a couple of white wines, "We don't need no stinking permits!" We all laughed and one of my other friends who is a lawyer spoke up and said, "Let's go for it, I know of several good bail bondsmen."

So we called it a night and everyone promised to be back at my house bright and early later that morning. I secretly wondered if anyone would show up. Boy was I surprised.

By 7:30 a.m. everyone began arriving - with their wifes and girlfriends in tow. We dashed over to Kroger's and bought out their entire Texas size squared Rainbow bread and the thickest cuts of bologna we could find. We also bought a dozen heads of iceberg lettuce, tomatos and several jars of mustard and mayonaise and paper bags.

Soon we had an assembly line - on the kitchen table, on the center island and even across my living room sofa. We made 300 bologna sandwiches! Two large sandwiches to a paper bag and for an added touch we wrote positive words and encouraging phrases on each paper bag. We also bought fiften cases of bottled water to take to the people living under the bridge downtown.

All we wanted to do was somehow make this one rainy Sunday a little more comfortable for the men, women and a few children who made their home there.

As soon as we arrived we began calling everyone out and inviting our new found amigos to come eat. Most were deep asleep inside their makeshift card board homes, others in raggidy old sleeping bags and a few sleeping without a blanket with their heads on yellow page directories. In no time we had everyone lining up behind our vehicles. Two trucks for the sandwiches and an SUV for the bottled water.

We had given out almost all of the sandwiches and to everyone's surprise we had made more them enough sandwiches. Everyone ended up with at least an extra sandwich bag or two and several water bottles. The early shyness and distrust soon disappeared. Before long all I could feel their sincere gratitude in the air and as I looked around a sea of smiles. The hugs and a few kisses we received made it all worthwhile. We told jokes and we laughed and we ended up having an incredible experience.  

Soon it was time to go and as we began to clean up and get ready to leave after spending almost three hours there. The weather was still cool and with the rain, it felt wet and clamy. With the noisy bussle of the city that was coming awake and the cars over head I thought I heard a faint hum in the distance of my favorite gospel song. I looked all around searching for the source in a sort of joyous disbelief. 

Suddenly it began to get louder... a baritone voice was coming from way at the back. Coming from a giant of a man with big charcoal eyes a gray beard, bushy eye brows... and his huge smile. There he hummed, way up in the back and close to the metal rafters.  

I had located the source! He was humming my all time favorite gospel hymn, Amazing Grace. Within in seconds the cold concrete under pass became filled with the sound of a perfectly pitched chorus. It was if we had rehearsed for this very moment. I felt the spirit of GRACE and it seemed as if we were in a huge church sanctuary… within seconds we all began to hum and soon a young woman began to sing. 

Some of us looked at one another and then we all began to join in and we couldn’t stop singing it.  Soon we were all holding hands, some of us had our arms around one another. The more we sang, the louder we got. We must have sang this beautiful song for at least twenty minutes. None of us wanted this moment it to end.

Would you believe that the rain had stopped falling and it seemed as if the clouds began to give way. I will never forget that special Sunday or being part of our very talented chorus. One that had sung the most beautiful acappella arrangement of Amazing Grace. I will always be grateful for having experienced that day and will never forget that moment for as long as I live.

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.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

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.

Make it a great dia!

I'm headed to get some surgical work done on my neck this morning. Talk to you manana.

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