“The glory is missing from this hollow room
Like a bride who knew better and jilted the groom
I’m trying to work out what it is I should be
A dented saint searching for some sanctuary
I’m remembering grace
And things I hold dear
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to lead me home.”
from Whoever It Was That Brought Me Here... by Martyn Joseph
Another song from Martyn Joseph that makes a good companion for the stumbling faith journey. I have used this song quite a lot in Reflective services and it touches the spot in people’s souls every time. The phrase “whoever it was that brought me here will have to lead me home” is from a 13th century Sufi mystic poet called Rumi and my other favourite band Over The Rhine used the same phrase on their album Ohio at the exact same time as Martyn’s co-writer Stewart Henderson slipped it in here.
In this beleaguered lament Martyn and Stewart don’t only fulfil the Reformation’s tenet to find light from all quarters but with the phrase “remembering grace” they baptise it into a 21st century western Christian context taking me on another journey back a few centuries to the poetry and theology of hymn writer John Newton’s Amazing Grace – “Grace has brought me safe this far and grace will lead me home.”
Christians often lose the impact of grace along the journey. Few argue with its importance to begin the Christian pilgrimage but we often lose sight of the fact that the same grace that is the only hope we have to lead us into faith is the only hope we have as the journey goes on. We humans in our fallen frailty can find ourselves just as lost twenty years in as we were at the outset. At moments when life knocks us off our feet and faith seems battered and bruised it is good to know and utter in prayer the great truth that “whoever it was that brought me here will have to lead me home” even when we are struggling to believe that he will.