A few months ago, I read and blogged about the book “Redeeming Love”. The retelling of Hosea and Gomer’s story. One of the most powerful things I realized while reading is that I have no idea what it feels like to have crowds of people gawking at me, whispering my darkest secrets, and tsking their heads in disapproving judgment as I cross the street in front of them. Gomer did, though, so does Angel in Rivers retelling, and tonight introed a new character who knows. Meet Kim, Rachel’s little sister from “Rachel Getting Married”. Kim is Anne Hathaway’s break out role, for which she won an Oscar nomination. Kim is wayward, broken, and to blame for her little brother’s untimely death because she drove the two of them off a bridge as a stoned teenager. Kim needs redemption. She fights reconciliation and hope, which her family, in their round about, dysfunctional way, offers. During an NA meeting she shares the tragic story of her brother’s accidental death while under her care, and she cries, “Sometimes I don’t want to believe in a God who could forgive me.” My heart broke. Kim is a fictional character, and her story is made up, but the lie is real. That a merciful God who forgives should be hated instead of worshiped.
Finally Kim yells at her family, who she feels expecting something for their grace, “Who do I have to be now? Even if I were Mother Theresa it would never be enough to undo what I’ve done.” My heart breaks again because I see myself as the judging family, unsure how to love/forgive fully, and expecting visual change that reflects the gratitude for grace given.
And the lie and the truth all come smashing down. Kim is telling the truth. She can not earn her redemption. Her family, lost and broken, in need of forgiveness themselves, can’t offer redemption and they need it too. They (and we) are cursed and gone astray, and here’s the incredible climax of the Gospel. Jesus saves.
“The father of lies is telling the truth” as Shane and Shane put it: “The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed…that I am cursed and gone astray. I can not gain salvation. …Oh the devil’s singing over me the age old song that I am cursed and gone astray. Singing the first verse so conveniently he’s forgotten the refrain: Jesus saves.”
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rms. 6:23