The hymn, “Amazing Grace” has had a powerful presence in my life the past few years.

It began at my mother’s hospice bed, as she requested the title from a visiting harp-player. It seemed like an odd request, given that the harp-player had been playing Yiddish tunes from my mother’s childhood. We were surprised when my mom started singing along with the harp because we hadn’t realized that she knew the words. Even more surprising was her emphasis on the phrase, “Was blind, but now I see”. The major stroke she had suffered a week before had blinded her.

After her passing, there were all sorts of little synchronicities involving Amazing Grace. My favorite was the time we picked out a wind chime, and as we unpacked it saw that its name was Amazing Grace — it played perfectly the first 8 notes of the song.

Last night we watched our latest Netflix arrival, “Amazing Grace” (the 2007 movie). It’s the story of William Wilberforce’s battle to abolish slavery in England, and through it, the story of his friend, John Newton, the pastor who wrote the words to Amazing Grace (the hymn). The film was moving and uplifting, and I most definitely felt my mother’s presence –the presence of amazing grace.

I just wanted to say thank you, Mom, for all the reminders.

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