Friday, April 25, 2008

Age to Age

I've been thinking about Amy Grant a little.

On the way home from a solo trip to see my dad in Chicago, I stopped at a Cracker Barrel to return a book on tape. There weren't other tapes that I wanted to hear, but I noticed that Amy Grant had a CD featuring hymns.

I love hymns. I like Grant's voice. But I've refrained from buying anything by her because I had a lot of doubts. I was tired and needed something to keep me awake on the road, and singing hymns usually does the trick, except my memory isn't what it used to be and having a little sing a long with Amy didn't seem so bad.

And it was great. The CD was beautifully done and even better, easy to sing along to. But I had a nagging question most of my ride home. How should I respond when famous Christians sin?

I googled Amy Grant and read the wikipedia articles about her and related to her ex and current husbands, as well as a couple of interveiw transcripts from some famous talk shows. Even after all I read, including several excerpts from her New York Times bestselling book "Mosaic", I am still confused, but one thing is very clear: I see only bits and pieces of what must have been extremely painful and complicated for two once intact families.

Questions, questions, questions:

How much of what I read is true? How much of it is gossip? Is it wise to pursue a public life when it obviously creates immense stress on private life? Has forgiveness occurred? How do public Christians protect their loved ones in their private lives? How much should they protect themselves?

And how does Grant affect me as a disciple trying to follow my Lord? Should she? Should anyone--famous or not?

I haven't read everything there is to read about Grant's divorce, and I really don't want to. There are Christians who are overly critical and seem to forget about the concept of grace. There are others who seem to have gotten really overly mushily and sickingly soft, who forget that divorce is not only painful to us but angers God.

There are some things that Grant has done well--admirably so--in her testimony of God in her life. Her music is passionate about God, and something has obviously happened within her spiritually--she sounds different and not just because she has been influenced by her husband's creative and masterful voice. On the other hand, I wish she would develop some kind of moral backbone. Like, admit that she was too emotionally involved with Gill while they were married to other people. In some of the transcripts, she skirts around the issues and glosses over the pain her friendship to Gill caused to people who loved him as well as the people who loved her. Instead, she highlights "this connection" she felt with Gill from the first time they met and the subsequent struggle over her emotions. Because she dwells there, it comes across to me as a lame rationalization--a real feeble description that waters down the battle against sin and temptation and stops short of describing what real power God had wrought in her life. Which I am sure happened, but because she is afraid to say what really needs to be said, there is little to cause us to think about Christ or even thank God for.

What is glorious about God's grace is that it really does deal with the outright horror of sin. If sin isn't despicable, then what glory is given to God for His mercy and kindness towards us? We all fall short of the glory of God--you, me, and Amy Grant. We are susceptible to traps that cause us to succomb to our weaknesses--whether in our minds or in our actions--in which we not only hurt ourselves but everyone around us. We desperately need saving and redemption--mighty acts that only an awesome, righteous and holy God can accomplish. Let that be our testimony instead of merely re-inventing ourselves.

A few blogs ago, one of my dear sisters sent me a copy of an email she sent to her husband about my gut wrenching honesty in one particular blog. She knows I'm not just this way about a few of my sin issues in my life, but all of them as far as I can be without hanging out all my dirty laundry for all the world to see. It's a nice compliment (thanks Nancy), but only one thing matters and it's not me.

Cookies to the first person to guess what that might be.

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