"For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God's"
1 Corinthians 6:20
You won't find cable or satellite TV at the Brown house, but you will find a lot of movies. We enjoy watching movies, and since the selection on TV is relatively non-family-friendly these days, Ian and I have chosen instead to buy various series of older television sitcoms. Many evenings when the boys were young,you would find all the Browns stretched out on the sofa, loveseat or floor, watching a movie together. Some of our selections included the Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Andy Griffith and the Cosbys. A few years ago, we chose Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
Despite the despairing cries of my older boys, who heard "woman" and automatically thought "chick flick," we actually enjoyed the show. Of course, that doesn't mean there weren’t a few scenes that needed some explanation. For instance, I had forgotten how prominent a place the saloon plays in old west shows, and with the saloon comes saloon girls and alcohol consumption. Interestingly enough, however, God has used that very setting to remind me once again of His mercy and grace. Let me set the stage.
Hank is a swaggering, smoking, swearing, drinking saloon owner. He is self-sufficient and non-sympathetic. He is most concerned about himself and his money. Myra, is Hank's "employee." As we explained to our younger boys (who were innocently unaware of Myra's actual means of employment), Myra is for all practical purposes Hank's slave. In modern terms, Hank is the pimp, and Myra is the prostitute. Horace is a hard working, quiet, God-fearing, man of integrity. During an influenza epidemic, the saloon is closed for lack of business, and Myra pitches in to help take care of Horace and other ill citizens.
Horace finds himself interested in Myra and wants to spend time with her, talking, getting to know her. Of course, Hank demands that Horace pay for the time. Horace is nothing less than gentlemanly and treats Myra like the lady that she has always wanted to be. Ultimately, Horace wants to marry Myra, but Hank refuses to let her go without a price. "Only a fool falls in love with a whore!" he shouts. Horace vows to pay the price.
As I have watched the love story between Horace and Myra play out on screen, I have been reminded of an even greater, more eternal love story. You see, we too were slaves. We were slaves to Satan and slaves to sin. And just like Hank, our master was unmerciful, thinking only of himself and his own glory. Our slavery kept us trapped in a world of sin where we were constantly being dirtied by our own actions and the actions of others. Like Myra, we were helpless and in desperate need of true love, of someone to rescue us from our hopeless existence.
How do you find Christ in Dr. Quinn? You look at Horace. Now, before I go too far with this, let me say that no analogy is ever exact, no comparison can ever be complete when we are talking about our Lord and Savior especially. I am in no way trying to say that every aspect of Horace will equate with Jesus. It won't. It can't. I am just telling you how God spoke to me in the midst of a family movie night and reminded me of His love.
You see, Christ did for us what Horace did for Myra. He paid an exorbitant price--his life as a matter of fact--to set us free. He didn't wait for us to clean up before rescuing us. He didn't ask that we do anything in return. He loved us in the condition in which He found us. Just as Horace treated Myra like a lady when to everyone else she looked like nothing more than a common "working girl," Jesus saw us through eyes of love. He saw in us the potential to be what He created us to be in the beginning, before we were in bondage to sin. And He paid the price to make us free again, free to have an eternal, loving relationship with Him.
The Greatest Love Story
Born a slave to sin, nothing I could do
To claim my own liberty
With a nature to sin, I chose to sin
There was no way to be free
The price for sin has always been death
A price, for me, way too steep
to bridge the gap between holy and not
It seemed my position I'd keep
Then a valiant knight left his throne
To pay the debt I owed
Only one true and holy Himself
could win me and take me home
Jesus died to pay the price for my sin,
and He rose to set me free.
All He asks of me now is to accept His love
and live like the lady I’m made to be.
This post was originally published on 5/12/2010. It has been slightly revised from the original.