Recently, I viewed the movie Man of La Mancha.  The story is set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  Several men and women are imprisoned and awaiting their execution.  The prisoners themselves put Miguel de Cervantes, the main character, on mock trial for his crimes. His fellow prisoner act out the script he has written which is defense in their trial.

One character in particular caught my attention. I think, perhaps it was because of some of the other things the Lord has been teaching me in recent weeks.   I was struck with the character of Aldonza, a kitchen maid. The script says she is, “One to whom life has been discourteous.” Here are some of the words that Aldonza (meaning ‘nice’) sings:

“One pair of arms is like another

I don’t know why or who’s to blame

I’ll go with you or with your brother

It’s all the same

When I am dead, no man will miss me

For life’s a cruel and dirty game

So you can curse or you can kiss me

It’s all the same

Oh, I have seen too many beds

But I have known too little rest

And I have loved too many men

With hatred burning in my breast

I do not like you or your brother

I do not like the life I live

But I am me

I am Aldonza

And what I give, I choose…

Choose!

One pair of arms is like another

It’s all the same

It’s all the same

BUT,

Don Quixote, the hero, then comes to the inn.  A man who most of the world thinks is mad; he chases windmills and follows his personal quest. When Quixote sees the Maid these are the words we hear:

Sweet lady…fair virgin…I dare not gaze fully upon thy countenance…as I’d be blinded by thy beauty.

I have dreamed thee too long

Never seen thee or touched thee

But known thee with all of my heart

Half a prayer, half a song

Thou hast always been with me

Though we have been always apart

Dulcinea, (meaning “sweet”)

I have sought thee, sung thee, dreamed thee

Dulcinea

Now I’ve found thee, and the world shall know thy glory

Dulcinea

Later, he says this of her:

Oh, fairest of the fair

Purest of the pure

Incomparable Dulcinea.

As the story continues, Don Quixote lays on his deathbed, in the eyes of the world a madman.  He has spent his life chasing windmills after all. The Kitchen Maid enters, clean and modestly dressed.  She kneels beside his bed and asks him to remember the dream.  They sing, Knight, Squire, and Maid. Again in search of the Quest. In the Knight’s last breath. Shattered dreams.  BUT!

The Squire again calls the Maid by the name, “Aldonza”.  She says, “No, I am Dulcinea”.

This story should be my story, our story.  Why do we not see this radical change in Christians today?  Jesus called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.  He has called us by a new name! He has called us Beloved and drawn us to Himself.  He has spoken His Word to us.  He has died, but He has Risen from the dead and ever lives to make intercession for us and He is coming again to make all things right!  He does not leave us alone, but walks beside us!  His grace gives us the power to live as His possession.  He loves us well that we might love Him well and love others well.  May it be so!

For His Name’s Sake.

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