One of the most revolutionary works of art that has graced the 21st century is the Broadway musical Hamilton. Written by the genius Lin Manuel-Miranda, the play recounts the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through the use of rap, hip-hop, and other types of music.
I know I know, you’re probably thinking that this is the most ridiculous thing ever (andlikewhyareyouevenwritingaboutit???), right? Wrong. Hamilton is addictive and brilliant; and I have never been more interested in the guy whose face is on the ten-dollar bill.
Okay but I’m not here to convince you about how good Hamilton is. You can find innumerable tumblr posts and YouTube videos about that. I want to talk more about a certain theme in the musical that I wrestle with on a daily basis: forgiveness.
Elizabeth (Eliza) Schuyler-Hamilton, our homeboy’s wife, is probably the one of the most beautiful people to have ever lived. And I’m not referring to physical beauty; I’m talking about her character and integrity. Eliza’s sister Angelica sings this line about her at one point: “I know my sister like I know my own mind you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind”, which as history shows us, is true. Her whole marriage to Hamilton is characterized by her utter devotion and care to both him and their children.
So then with all this in mind, what does our protagonist A. Ham decide to do to Eliza? CHEAT ON HER. But not only does he cheat on her, he also PUBLISHES THE AFFAIR in a pamphlet for all the world to see. Naturally, Eliza is devastated, and you can see that in this song. But after the death of her and Alexander’s son, Philip, her husband eventually asks for her forgiveness, which she graciously and beautifully grants.
After hearing It’s Quiet Uptown for the first time, I had to sit in silence for a bit and ponder on my own misgivings and faults. I am by nature a very unforgiving person. It might have a lot to do with my “sense of justice”; but I am more convinced that it has to do with my knack for self-righteousness and my propensity for being a prideful woman.
Realizing this about myself makes me hang my head in shame. How dare I be an unforgiving person while also openly proclaiming my love for Christ for everyone to see. How dare I let my pride have a larger say in my life than the One who gave His Son to die on a cross BECAUSE of my sin and my pride. How could I possibly stare into the face of my Savior, tell Him I love Him, and then turn around and continue to live a life of pride and self-righteousness?
So to those I have wronged, and to those I have hurt whether it be intentionally or unintentionally, I am so sorry. My life has not been demonstrative of a person changed by the grace of a God who loves her; it has been a picture of exactly why I need a Savior that loves me despite my daily failings.
And to the friend I recently reconciled with. I am only sorry that I wasn’t the one to step forward; that I let the rift in our lives stretch on for so long. You reaching out to me was one of the best things that has happened to me. Dear one, you teach me humility and kindness everyday; and your beautiful life shows me more of what it is to be a better human. I am very sure that if there were more people in this world who had a heart as big as yours, as well as a soul that forgave as often as you, wars would cease. I am so very glad to have you back in my life. And I am so very glad that you are you. (See you the next time we get coffee, or go shopping,
or talk about boys, or study <3).
Friends, if Eliza Hamilton could forgive her scoundrel of a husband and dedicate the rest of her life to sharing his story, we can learn to love a little more.
But friends, if God could send His Son to die on a cross and bear the burden of our guilt so that we could have a bridge to having a relationship with Him; then we can, beyond a shadow of a doubt, forgive those who wrong us. If a perfect God could forgive and love the worst of us, we can MOST DEFINITELY, admit when we are at fault (which for me is probably most of the time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).
-Soli Deo Gloria