Amazing Grace

I am reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglas. It is a testimony to the indomitable human spirit. The image and glory of God in man even in the most dire and dehumanizing circumstances. The atrocities described in just enough detail to bring evidence agains the horrors and evil of slavery are gut wrenching. Literally. At one point I had to put the book down because I was nauseous.

I'm reminded of the hymn "Amazing Grace." It's so familiar it almost becomes mundane to our hearts, so easily numbed by life. A focused attention to the words brings us closer to the profoundness of its message. But then to hear the story of its author and to know that the "wretch" described was a slave trader, really drives home just how "amazing" God's grace is.

As I have read the story of Douglas and come face to word with the mind boggling wretchedness of man, my heart has been dipped yet deeper in the boundless sea of God's grace. While my own sins don't seem to compare with the heinous acts described, my heart rejoices in the knowledge of His goodness and the grace that keeps me from journeying far on the hell bound road of sin.

Even more amazing is to read in Douglas' own words of his faith in the same God of the Bible that even his most wicked masters proclaimed. Often, even using scripture to justify and glorify their acts. To face such evil masked in hypocrisy, yet to hold to and proclaim the truth of God's great gospel . . this is amazing!

But that is the message, isn't it? Love overcomes, tromps, stomps, obliterates, the evil one. What Satan means for evil, God turns for good. The love of the cross enables the victim to become the victor. The slavery of sin exchanged for the heart, soul, and spirit freedom of love.

A freedom Douglas knew even before he was set free from slavery.

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