Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. (Romans 5:20 NRSV)
Years ago there was a sacred song titled THE BIRD WITH THE BROKEN WING. It was written by Hezekiah Butterworth. It ended with the doleful lines: But the bird with the broken pinion, Never soared as high again.

The words of the song were set to music by Peter Bilhorn, a popular American singing evangelist. On one occasion he sang it in the Iowa state prison. When he concluded the song, one of the convicts rose and said, "Chaplain, is that true? If what he has been singing is true, there is no hope for me, or for a lot of us here." The broken-hearted convict resumed his seat with a sob.

Peter Bilhorn realized the validity of the man's deeply felt protest and added two verses to the song. Now the song ended like this: By the grace that He freely gives you/ You shall soar as high again.

Almost twenty years later, a colonel in the U. S. Army approached Mr. Bilhorn at a YMCA gathering. "You don't remember me, but I remember you," the colonel said. "You visited Fort Madison prison eighteen years ago, and sang about a bird with a broken wing. I am the man who asked you if it was true. When you came again and sang the added verses, I gave my heart to Christ, and was able to rise.

By God's grace one can "higher soar again."

Dear God, give me the power and the grace to help others soar again. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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