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Add the grace notes

music composeI still haven’t forgotten it. A pimped-up hearse?

I was driving to church on a Wednesday night when it pulled up beside me. Velvet curtains on the inside. A visible beige casket. Nothing extraordinary.

But when it took the lead, I read the bumper sticker: “The Tattooed Lady.” What? Was that appropriate?

I pulled beside it when I saw there was a side insignia. What funeral home would allow advertising like that? I wanted to know.

I checked out the driver. A young guy. Casually dressed.

I finally read the paneled door:  “Zombie Sighting Rescue Unit. ”

Or something like that. Then I remembered the date. October 27. Halloween was around the corner.

Instead of giving the guy a glaring look, I cut him some slack. I laughed. (But still prayed for him too.) Yes, his choice of vehicles was weird.

But it was also distinct. It was memorable. It made an impression.

Shouldn’t we be able to say the same about grace? Isn’t it unique? Impressive? Unforgettable?

Grace adds that extra touch that gets your attention. As Philip Yancey describes it in What’s So Amazing about Grace?: gracenotes

  ...A composer may add grace notes to the score. Though not essential to the melody—they are gratuitous—these notes add a flourish whose presence would be missed.

When I first attempt a piano sonata by Beethoven or Schubert I play it through a few times without the grace notes. The sonata carries along, but oh what a difference it makes when I am able to add in the grace notes, which season the piece like savory spices.

I’m not a composer but when I beefed up a 4-part harmony song to play on the piano, I added my own version of grace notes. They weren’t crucial to the tune, but they make a huge quality difference when I strike the extra keys.

I want to add grace notes to my relationships. To be an extra flourish of kindness in my family’s life. An embellishment of encouragement to a friend who is struggling. A sweet spot of mercy to one who has fallen.

No, I don’t want to be a pimped-up hearse. But I do want to show enough distinctive Christian grace that others want to draw closer to see whose insignia I ride under. To see that it’s God behind anything good. To know that the special touches are for a reason.       

To show off his grace. It’s how he rides.

And once you’ve seen his grace, really seen it, you won’t forget it.

* * *

How can you give grace to someone today?


Dianna said...

Oh, Lisa, this is beautiful! You've presented grace in a memorable way. Thank you.

Amy Nabors said...

Oh how true this is! If we only show grace what a difference it can make not only in a person's life, but also our own. Thank you for sharing!

His Song to Sing said...

As a pianist myself, I know what grace notes can do to a simple musical phrase. Love that quote by Yancey. I appreciate your encouragement to "grace" others with how I live my life. He presents opportunities every day if I'm looking.

Barbara H. said...

"To be an extra flourish of kindness in my family’s life. An embellishment of encouragement to a friend who is struggling. A sweet spot of mercy to one who has fallen." Love that. Me, too!

Melissa said...

Grace is definitely beautiful and unexpected, and I need to show more of it in my life!

Thoughts for the day said...

I am helping my husband for the next few weeks after his shoulder surgery. By nature I am not a 'nurse' type personality so giving him grace and compassion is my prayer as I realize he will be better in time but for now he needs me to help him.

Lisa notes... said...

You’ll definitely have lots of opportunities to add grace notes then. Praying they also sound sweet to your ear to bless you as well as your husband.

Anonymous said...

This exactly what God has me focusing on. Grace toward others.

(Hey, cool about the MercyMe!)

I've been wondering about your humility journey. Doing OK? I know sometimes we can end up in the dust...

Lisa notes... said...

Focusing on grace toward others – what gifts you must be giving out! To God be the glory.

Humility…I guess the only answer is that it’s hard (any other answer would be of pride, right? ha). I’m already seeing things through it that I hadn’t seen before…like, Am I afraid of being stupid? Of looking stupid? I don’t know that I’ve consciously spent much time on that thought before, but I think God is trying to show me that Yes, I am and do look that way compared to him, but that’s okay! I’m not supposed to rest in my own knowledge; I just have to rest in the one who does know everything, and he will reveal to me what he wants me to know when I need to know it…

Thanks for asking about my journey…that is a gift of grace to me!


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