Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Mantra of Grace

They do not deserve your sympathy in any way!” So Ares screams at Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, pushing her to drop the tank she holds threateningly over the evil Dr. Maru, her alter ego in the film, and then unleash her righteous anger on all humanity. He is desperate for her to give them what they deserve. Diana, however, somehow experiences an “aha” moment, a revelation, that “It’s not about deserve.” It’s about love.

I think about this scene often in our world, oh so desperate for someone else, some other group, to get what they deserve.

-Most of us want ISIS to get what we think they deserve.
-Others want Donald Trump to get what they think he deserves.
-Some want the poor and sick to get what they believe these people deserve, as in “Diabetics don’t deserve heath care”.
-Many still think homosexuals deserve to hear that “God hates fags!”
-Others believe the 1% deserve the judgment they will receive from God for their injustices.
-And on it goes . . .

Yet, “It’s not about deserve,” as Wonder Woman realizes. Jesus said it even more clearly as his executioners pinned him to the cross with nails: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

A world based on desert and judgment will finally destroy itself just as it tried to destroy Jesus. It wanted to give him what it believed he deserved. Thank God, he demurred from responding in kind, he who alone knew we truly deserved. Perhaps Wonder Woman’s “It’s not about deserve” is the mantra of grace for our age. God knows we need it!

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