You’re not the only one

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I used to think that I was right

A lonely candle in the night

And while the heart of the world was breaking

I could not feel the aching

The mantle had passed down to me

This thing was my destiny

And while the world was out there dying

I was in here lying to myself

For all the knowledge I had gained

Put me on a higher plain

And I became another

No one was my brother

And the loving message He brought down

Turned into a hollow sound

And then I heard Him calling

And His words sent me falling to my knees

 

“You’re not the only one with truth

You’re not the only one with eyes

You’re not the only one — 

The only one who cries

You’re not the only one”

 

And suddenly there was with me

An ocean of humanity

A sea of many faces

in waves of warm embraces

And while I questioned how to judge them all

Who would rise and who would fall

I found myself among them

And it mattered little who was wrong or right

And then I saw Him lifted up

The wounded one who drank the cup

Of death for all the dying

The end of justifying

And I laid my mantle on the ground

And felt the rain come pouring down

The rain of my Religion

Falling down like weeping from the sky

 

“You’re not the only one with truth

You’re not the only one with eyes

You’re not the only one — 

The only one who cries

You’re not the only one”

This song explains what happens once you “get” the grace of God. By “get” I mean you understand it and realize it applies to you — that you have received undeserved favor from God because you are a deplorable sinner with no hope of reforming or redeeming yourself.

Here are three common realities that go along with understanding and receiving the grace of God:

1) You lose all sense of spiritual pedigree. If you even subconsciously think that anything — your background, your training, your experience — brings you any closer to the kingdom of God than anyone else, you are sorely mistaken. If you ever thought that God was lucky to have you on His team, you are now embarrassed and ashamed to think that you ever even had such a thought. You are, as a matter of fact, worse than the worst, and you know that because you know yourself better than anybody else.

2) You join the human race. You embrace people you would have formerly had nothing to do with. You join the despicables (or “deplorables,” as this last election would lead us to believe). You are a common sinner on common ground with everyone else. You are right at home in an Al-Anon or an A.A. meeting. These are “your kind of people” — people who can be vulnerable, needy, sincere, broken, and happy to be in a group of others who feel the same way.

3) You lose all sense of judgment or condemnation of anyone else. If God has given His grace to me, who no more deserves it than a serial killer, then how can I turn around and judge anyone else? As Barry McGuire says, “Who am I to judge anyone God has forgiven?”

So this is the beginning of Grace Turned Outward. It starts with God’s grace to me and extends in humility to all others, and in such a manner, the message of the gospel of welcome is spread around by you and by me. Thankfully, you are not the only one.

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3 Responses to You’re not the only one

  1. gregg says:

    Thankfully indeed.

  2. mainemcq6 says:

    Excellent. Just shared it in our local paper. Just what was needed for the days in which we live.

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