All’s Grace

topics:
Book Club

I lead an initiative called Compassion Bloggers, which allows me the great privilege of trekking the world with bloggers to witness and write about Compassion International’s ministry to impoverished children. I’ve crossed the Nile in Uganda, harvested sugar cane with slaves in the Dominican Republic, knelt to give thanks at Mother Teresa’s tomb in India, gawked at a sunset over elephants crossing the plains of Kenya, and I’ve tickled the ribs of countless children and soaked up their laughter.

But I think the greatest treasures of my travels with Compassion International have been the people I’ve traveled with.

They’ve all marked me. Like iron against iron. Sparks fly, rounding off the rough, illuminating the forgotten, sharpening the dulled. I walk away less and more  – better – than I was when I boarded the plane.

God used Ann Voskamp to mark me in Guatemala – and on our way there – with grace.

The first e-mail I ever got from Ann was signed “All’s grace, Ann.”

That deceptively diminutive phrase stopped me. It’s a powerful little sermon isn’t it?

All’s a gift. And it’s all I need. All sufficient. And for all.

If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because of my intellect. The pressure’s off to be the brightest.

If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because I earned it. The pressure’s off to work the hardest.

If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because I’m good. The pressure’s off to be the best.

All’s grace.

Humbling. Stilling. Also purpose giving.

To be like the Giver, to be inhabited by the Giver, is to be giving. To give as He gives: To give all. To all.

I will bless you, God promised Abraham, and you will be a blessing to all. So John wrote that we know what love is because Christ laid down His life for us. We’re to go and give likewise, he says. Our very lives, he says. And to give this kind of love because it’s the kind we were given first…and are still receiving daily in a thousand ways.

All’s grace.

On a good day I slow down and meditate. One way I do this is by saying a truth out loud, adding to it one word at a time, thinking about each one and its meaning as it’s tacked on.

You

You have

You have loved

You have loved us

You have loved us all

Recently, one late night, the meditation became a song. Then mixed with a prayer. Then closed with Ann’s sermon: All’s grace.

All’s Grace from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

All’s Grace
Words & Music by Shaun Groves
(C)2011 Simplicity Street/ASCAP

You have loved us
You have loved us all
You have loved us all so
We love all

You have blessed us
You have blessed us all
You have blessed us all so
We bless all

Thank you for Christ and cross
Through us tell the wand’ring
Thank you for making peace
Through us love our enemies

You have loved us
You have loved us all
You have loved us all so
We love all

You have given
You have given all
You have given all so
We give all

Thank you for daily bread
Through us fill the empty
Thank you for bodies whole
Through us mend the breaking

All’s grace
All’s grace
All’s grace and grace enough, o
All’s grace
All’s grace
All’s grace and grace enough
For all of us
For all of us

You have loved us
You have loved us all
You have loved us all so
We love all

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  • http://www.iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com I Live in an Antbed

    precious, precious

    Yes, Grace.

  • http://ohamanda.com oh amanda

    I came over here to check the schedule for the book club and was surprised to see this post…and now—what a beautiful way to start my day. It really was a meditation. One I needed to chew on.

    “If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because of my intellect. The pressure’s off to be the brightest.
    If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because I earned it. The pressure’s off to work the hardest.
    If all’s a gift then it’s not mine because I’m good. The pressure’s off to be the best.”

    The pressure’s off. Yes.

  • http://slpuckett52@wordpress.com Sharon

    I am so touched by this here this morning..thank you for sharing this today. Grace..it is enough!

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  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    Beautiful.

  • Libby

    Thank you! So encouraging!!

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  • http://www.thisamazingjourneycalledlife.blogspot.com Becky Williams

    Wonderful message!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://www.momssharpeningmoms.com Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms

    Stunning song…it makes my heart sing!

    And closing with Ann’s signature words? So perfect.

    Thanks for this..what a way to end my week on this note!

  • http://txmomx6.blogspot.com Janine

    Thank you, Shaun ….. for sharing grace and love with us today.
    :)

  • http://shaungroves.com Shaun Groves

    There is no end to the ribbing I’m receiving this morning from my man friends for guest blogging at the epicenter of the female blogosphere…but so worth it. Thank you for the warm welcome, the filling encouragements and for taking the time to listen…and be thankful.

    I love that this place exists for women (and the occasional guy interloper) on-line! Thanks, Ann, for the invite.

    All’s grace.

  • http://www.jeannedamoff.com Jeanne Damoff

    Beautiful song. Beautiful sermon. I love the way the lyrics ripple, spreading the grace wider with each line of each verse until we are moved to respond.

    Love Ann. Love Compassion. Love this heartfelt bit of musical loveliness. Thanks so much for interloping today, Shaun. The grace ripples on . . .

  • http://www.pensieve.me Robin ~ PENSIEVE

    Hmmm, the guy interloper…I’ve called you a lot of things, Shaun, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried that one!

    Love this song, love my friend the malemommyblogger.

    xo,

    Your favorite enthusiastic stalker

  • http://www.pensieve.me Robin ~ PENSIEVE

    p.s. to anyone who doesn’t know–

    I’m not really a creepy stalker and Shaun will (hopefully) (most likely) be happy to confirm that we go waaaaaaaaaaaay back.

  • http://myhomesweethomeonline.net Dawn Camp

    Thank you for serenading the ladies here and not being afraid to come into this space. (p.s. – watch out for Robin!) ;)

  • http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com gitz

    amazing how the simplest of words at the end of an email can bring us all to worship. i can’t stop humming it to myself. AMAZING. thank you for braving all the women today :)

  • http://asymphonyofgrace.blogspot.com erin m.

    This is so encouraging to me today! Thank you

  • http://shaungroves.com Shaun Groves

    For the record, I know Robin well. She’s crouched in my bushes with that telephoto lens of hers for years now.

    ; )

  • http://www.midwestmagnolia.com Melissa Lewis – Midwest Magnolia

    Thanks for inspiration here. I’ve visited this blog for a while now, and have always left encouraged. Felt it was time to say so:)

  • http://steeletheday.com Candy

    Ann has been an inspiration since my very first visit to her blog several years ago. What humility and grace she exudes, as does your song. I think you just earned a double platinum man card. Thank you for a most pleasant afternoon earworm.

  • http://ifmeadowsspeak.blogspot.com/ Tammy@If Meadows Speak

    beautiful song…and beautiful Savior from which it flows. Thank you for being secure enough in your manhood to bless us with His praise. :)

  • http://www.sophieamber.blogspot.com Rebecca

    I want more. I adored that song. Thank you for the encouragement!

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