knew for certain where she was going.
She knew for certain whom she would join.
And, with emphatic zeal, she spent a great
part of her life endeavoring to make the
same hope available to anyone she met.
She wanted her kids, as she called them,
to become God's kids. And they did, by
the hundreds - perhaps by the thousands.
many of us will remember her kneeling
in a corner with some beleaguered newcomer,
showering that person with love and leading
that person to Jesus Christ as their personal
Lord and Savior. She did it unashamedly
and boldly. She did it because she knew
it was God's absolute will for all to
be saved and to come unto a full and accurate
knowledge of the truth in His Word. She
studied that Word. She believed it. And
she spoke it. She was unquestionably a
woman of God. That Amazing Grace.
personal note. I met her at one of the
several Clarence Snyder retreats. This
one at Lake Wapogasset, Wisconsin. What
a strange name and a strange place for
such a meeting to take place. But I was
asked to come and tell of early A.A.'s
roots in the Bible and in the Christian
Fellowship of which it was an integral
part. One of Grace's people had warned
her to be wary of me. But she said she
would judge for herself. So she was at
the retreat, and we met.
dynamics were incredible. She was a beautiful
lady, a refined lady, and a lady whose
face and mannerisms radiated God's love.
No ordinary person she. She belted out
her salvation message at a meeting where
we spoke together. I found myself among
AAs and alcoholic/addicts who were talking
about God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.
I found myself with a woman who saw a
need in an A.A. meeting and boldly asked
the sick AA if he wanted to be prayed
for. He did, and she prayed. Right there.
Right then. When she spoke at retreats,
she spoke of love and with love. She spoke
of her beloved husband and teacher Clarence
H. Snyder. She spoke of A.A., the Big
Book, and the Twelve Steps. Then she went
to work, as her husband had done before
her and with her leading people to Christ
and conducting prayer and praise sessions
after the conference had officially closed.
Both knew the importance of the verse
Clarence had been taught at one of the
earliest A.A. meetings by one of the stalwart
pioneers, William V. H. It was 2 Corinthians
5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature; old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new.
What a promise for alcoholics! Clarence
and Grace offered that promise wherever
asked Grace if I might write a book about
her. We were both hard of hearing. She,
of course, was in denial about that! I
thought she hadn't heard me. But on the
phone, she said that my son Ken and I
might come, spend a week with her, and
learn what she had learned from Clarence
about early A.A. history and how they
had each spent their lives. We arrived.
She gave of herself to the point of exhaustion
every day. We laughed. We cried. We talked.
We wrote. We checked and rechecked. And
the story was done. It was the story of
that Amazing Grace.
life changed because I found that one
could fully and freely talk about his
or her own religious convictions and experience
in Alcoholics Anonymous and find fellowships
of like-minded believers. Maui has never
been the same. There is gossip of Jesus
freaks and Bible thumpers, but the newcomers
keep coming with their needs. Many not
only recover but are delivered from the
power of darkness through being born again
of the Holy Spirit and learning what God's
only begotten Son accomplished and made
available to them. They change. Their
lives change. And they become ambassadors
people often hold ."celebrations."
instead of funerals. They celebrate the
life of the person who has died. I also
celebrate the life of Grace Snyder. We
know she truly touched deeply the lives
of many in desperate need of deliverance.
Without the power of God to help her,
her efforts could not have born fruit.
And she knew this well. Her amazing grace
was not of herself, but of the grace of
will sorrow over Grace's passing. Many
will miss her much. I know that I will.
But all can sooner of later realize that
she depended upon the anchor of the soul
that is spoken of in the Word of God -
the return of Jesus Christ.
her husband Clarence, she had no fear
of death. She had no reason to fear death
because she was a true Christian believer.
What we celebrate as to Grace's life is
what she bequeathed to us in abundance.
She left us with the sure and certain
knowledge that we can all become God's
kids. That God takes care of His kids,
and most certainly the ones that the Devil
afflicts with alcoholism. And that God
cares more about what we do to bring others
to Him and His Word that He does about
our shortcomings and failures. He gave
His son to take care of those.
told me several times that she wanted
to die with her boots on. She certainly
kept marching as long as she could. There
were no negatives in her itinerary or
path. We celebrate the fact that she left
oodles of boots to us with the assurance
that many of us would keep marching in
her steps, perhaps thinking, as she must
have, ."Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord."