God Still Loves: Amy, Andre, Me and You (and Jordan).

The phone call at 2:30 A.M. rang out the good news; little Jordan Phillip Parks was born to Anna and Rich.

Anna is like one of our own kids, who we’ve known since she was a kid, and now she’s having HER first kid! I did a most unmanly thing; I ¢â‚¬Ëœteared up.’ I remembered visiting Anna in Switzerland when she was a junior in High School, sprouting her wings, finding herself, released to do so by parents who allowed her year abroad because it is what SHE needed, not what THEY needed!

I thought of Anna and Rich’s admirable commitment to living, working and ministering in South Central L.A. and I prayed that little Jordan will be safe there. It is not safe there.

For some reason my thoughts wandered to Andre Crouch, maybe because he is a pastor in Southern California now, maybe because David P. commented last night on his frustration with boring worship (to which Andre would be a potent antidote!) Because I couldn’t get it off my mind, I got up and went downstairs to my home office and dug out my copy of Andre’s “Mercy” album and played two songs, “Nobody Else like You,” and “God Still Loves Me.”

I remembered when Andre went through a rough patch and wrote, “When I started to run away, His love brought me back, My God still loves me, I can’t deny it.” I thought of God’s amazing mercy and grace and how much each of us needs it.

And then I thought of Amy Grant. Earlier that day, on my radio show, I played a track from her new album, released yesterday, called “Simple Things.” The song I played is “Innocence Lost.”

Amy, like Andre, like you, like me, also went through a rough patch, and I take her lyrics as a touching confession and celebration of God’s Grace.

Innocence Lost ‚© Amy Grant.

I can’t relive my life
I can’t retrace my tracks
I can’t undo what’s done
There is no going back

I chased a selfish dream
Did not survey the cost
Illusions disappeared
I’ve found my innocence lost

Some say it’s lessons learned
Some say it’s a living life
I say it’s choices made
Knowing wrong from right

One night I fought to sleep
In my slumber I turned and tossed
I woke to a cloudy day
And found my innocence lost

Innocent child is a beautiful thing
Secure in her father’s arms
Sleeps while a mother sings

There’s no way to know
All the harm this world can bring
I miss my innocence
Oh, to be innocent

My heavenly Father
The way of eternal love
That overflows with grace
I can completely trust

My broken heart repaired
And all my sin forgot
I can be pure again
In spite of my innocence lost

In his eyes I’m a newborn child
Cuz I accept his love
I have a newfound hope
Though I’ve found my innocence lost

I can be pure again
I’ve found my innocence lost
Back to “Simple Things”

And then my thoughts wandered back to Jordan, newborn, innocence personified, another child in the image of God, and as the old hymn says, ‘prone to wander.’

And then I thought of the lyrics of another old hymn. Amazing Love, How can it be, That thou my God, has’t died for me.

Then, having prayerfully committed my life, and Andre’s, and Amy’s and Anna’s and Jordan’s and everyone else I know and love into God’s loving, merciful care¢â‚¬¦I went back upstairs, soon to sleep.

‚© CRS Communications, Dick Staub 2003

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