Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am not Lady MacBeth. I am not Lady MacBeth.

A friend recently described me as tormented...no, not in the crazy way, per se. But if you read my last post about "The Poisonwood Bible" and any other posts that talk about living justly you will catch threads of it. My mind never totally stops thinking about major issues in the world and my inability to fix them. I finally received a bit of peace about tonight in the most roundabout of ways.

My fellowship group is studying the book of Acts and we read tonight about how God began to change the hearts of the Jewish Christians toward Gentile Christians, as there were huge cultural gaps between them. In chapter ten, in relation to the Jewish law and the customs about what was deemed clean or unclean, God talks about how *He* makes things clean. All of a sudden, pieces started falling together. Stay with me.

Lady MacBeth is the mastermind behind her husband's violent, short lived rise to power in Shakespeare's MacBeth. The most telling moment of the play is when she stands alone on the stage, tormented by her actions. She speaks to the blood that is metaphorically on her hands: "Out damned spot!" But she can't cleanse her mind of what she has done.

No, I'm not in the same place as Lady MacBeth, but the parallel is striking in this: I keep thinking that somehow I'll get my act completely together and be able to live a life that looks exactly how it is supposed to look: loving unconditionally and giving sacrificially to all. This kind of standard would torment anyone because it's impossible. I was listening to Sandra McCracken's version of "Thy Mercy" today and realized that I forget about the beauty of mercy and grace. I forget that I don't have to make myself clean. I forget that I can fall to my knees and admit that I don't have anything figured out. The end of the song is the repetition of "Hallelujah" in the most beautiful and haunting, yet confident voice.

"Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground/And weep for the praise of the mercy I've found." This is peace. This can change me. This can dissolve the weight that has been on me. And point my life and my heart in a direction not founded on guilt and falleness.

Hallelujah. In every sense of the word.

1 comment:

Liz said...

I really like this post and often feel the same way regarding wanting to get my act together. But, you are right...how can we really experience how amazing grace is if we don't fully realize exactly from what we are being saved. If we were perfect, that mercy wouldn't seem so incredible!