“Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: ‘There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveller came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.’” NKJV.
The plays, and all the picture painting of redemption
It is Shakespeare in ‘Hamlet,’ Act 2 Scene 2, who has the Danish Prince, seeking to gain visible proof that his uncle, King Claudius, had indeed murdered his dear father, the former king. To this end, Hamlet himself turns playwright, constructing a picture wherein he impregnates the play with references to regicide. Knowing that the present King, his uncle Claudius will be watching the play at court, Hamlet looks and waits for the flinching signs of sin. Hamlet is so confident of this happening that he says, “The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.”
In the first instance, I find it profitable, if not uncomfortable, to examine my own reactions to all the stories, scenes and sentiments which I might find in the many plays and pictures which I expose myself to. Sometimes when I do this, the overt glance of a long since silenced conscience, often creeps across my barrier mountains and meets my eyes once more, inviting confession and even demanding repentance and restitution. Hamlet was right.
In the second instance it is also of interest to observe another person’s reaction to stories, scenes and sentiments which they are also exposed to, for these reactions, especially if the response is grossly out of proportion to the pictorial ignition point, show large a person’s pain in terms of them either being victim or villain. Every time I preach, every time I paint pictures with my words, here and there in the congregation of the listeners, it is often in the well shuffled buttock, the wet eye, and the bowed head, where I too see that 'the play is the thing which shall catch the conscience of the King.'
All good pictures call forth truth, confession and repentance, restitution and restoration. Yes, in all good pictures, unlike the heart of Hamlet who was only intent on self justified revenge, there always lies the possibility of redemption. If God keeps bringing pictures across your petrified path, I tell you, He is but seeking your redemption.
Listen: “So David's anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.’ Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man!’” (2 Samuel 12:5-7a NKJV)
Pray: Lord, in all Your drawings on the wall of my soul, lead me to those places of restoration and redemption in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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