Amazing Grace – Grand Canyon

  • Nov. 4, 2014
  • #8482

Joni enjoys a sweet time of communion with the Lord on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Amazing Grace – Grand Canyon

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a personal story about this hymn…

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see.*

I must tell you where I recently sang this familiar old hymn and what it meant to me. It was about a month or so ago when Ken was fishing in Montana. My sister Kathy flew out from Maryland to spend time with me that week and we decided during her visit to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Now I had not been to the Grand Canyon since I was nine years old – and even though that was decades ago, I still recall the thrill of standing on the rim of that awesome canyon. As a little girl, I held tightly to the guard rail, afraid that if I let go, I would fly out over the canyon and it would swallow me up; that somehow I’d just fall right into it, down there a mile deep! That was an unforgettable experience when I was a kid, and I wondered, as Kathy and I drove toward Arizona, I wondered if I would feel the same sense of awe.

Well, when we arrived at the Grand Canyon, I wheeled slowly up the winding path to the edge. I found some shade underneath a pine tree – it was a quiet spot and no one was around. There I sat, looking out, breathless. And yes, had I not been belted into my wheelchair, I do think I would have fallen out, over into that huge chasm, it was so awesome. Like I said, no one was around and so I began softly singing this old hymn, “Amazing Grace.” But when I got to the line “that saved a wretch like me,” I just couldn’t keep singing, I was crying so. In tears, I wondered aloud, "Oh, Jesus how is it that you, the Lord of the universe, the Creator of such magnificent beauty, how is it that you would want to rescue, to save and deliver me? How is it that you want to be my friend? It’s so amazing!"

I was so blessed to be able to sit there for, oh, I think it must have been 20 minutes undisturbed. It was such a sweet time of communion with the Lord. You know, the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. And wonder of wonders, Jesus says to you and me, "I no longer call you servants. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15). Today, I want you to take a moment, and would you please be astounded that God has saved, He’s rescued, even delivered, even a wretch like you. He has chosen you as His friend – and then, today don't forget 'live out' your side of the friendship. Oh, by the way, my sister, Kathy, was standing behind me when I was there at the rim and she snapped a photo of me sitting in the shade. I’ve posted it today on my radio page at

* Song: "Amazing Grace" by John Newton, composed by Edwin O. Excell, Public Domain.

© Joni and Friends


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