The musical, The Man of La Mancha, is one of the great illustrations of the unconditional love and grace of God.
In the musical, Don Quixote meets a woman of the streets, a wild, wanton female named Aldonza. The man of La Mancha stops, gazes at her, and declares that she is his lady.
He will call her “Dulcinea.”
She sarcastically rejects, with mocking laughter, that she is hardly his lady.
Don Quixote, though, is persistent, trying to get her to see herself differently, a person she can become, if she will only believe it.
Again, he insists that she is his lady, but she angrily and wildly objects that such a person as her could be a lady. She screams that she is Aldonza, not Dulcinea! As she runs from the stage, the man of La Mancha whispers again and again that she is his lady.
At the close of the play, Don Quixote is dying. He believes he has failed, his love and grace towards her has been rejected. Then, at his side arrives a “born again” Aldonza. She is a changed woman, lovely and charming. Stunned, he does not recognize her, until she whispers in his ear that she is Dulcinea.
She has been saved from the mire of sin and self-hate to a beautiful lady.1
Philip Yancey refers to this as “the scandal of grace.”2
The grace of God can reach out to the most rejected and wretched, and transform them into His image.
We read in Romans 5:20, “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
“Abound” means “to exist in abundance.” The translation could read, “Grace existed in superabundance, and then more grace added to this superabundance.”3
“Give me only Your love and grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.”4
- Robert Schuller, Be Happy, You Are Loved, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, Copyright 1986, pp. 101 – 102
- Philip Yancey, Finding God in Unexpected Places, Moorings, Nashville, TN, A Division of the Ballantine Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., Copyright 1995, p. 180
- Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Volume Three, Treasures From The Greek New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1973, pp. 18, 19.
- Ignatius – www.norprov.org/spirituality/ignatiusprayer.htm