“When my time is up, have I done enough?”
I saw Hamilton for a second time last Friday. My heart moved to the core yet again, in ways anew, this time around brought intricate insight from inexplicable angles. While I had rested from its influence for a time, with Hamilton lyrics merely hovering out on the perimeter, seeing it onstage once more brings it front and center to my mind, being the filter through which I view my current events.
Just 12 hours after the final musical note rang out and I stood in ovation, I received a text: a mentor of mine had passed away. Unexpectedly. Seemingly he had been in good health; this was a shock of news to receive.
This followed mere days after another shocking death, when a couple we know suddenly lost their 10-year-old daughter to a rare mix of several infections that struck her.
“The Lord, in his kindness . . . he gives me more—time.”
Times like these bring self-reflection. What do we do with the time we have when we aren’t promised tomorrow? Even more jarring: what do we do, knowing that our time with those we love is not promised tomorrow?
Let’s tell others what they mean to us now. Don’t let it be only in memoriam.
Let’s put aside the petty and focus on what matters. We can work through our differences.
Let’s share God’s grace. Because we all need it.
“You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
I always found it powerful that with Aaron Burr as Hamilton’s musical narrator, we follow Alexander’s life through the eyes of his frenemy. Alexander has no control over what Burr says. And Burr has biting descriptors throughout.
But watching again, I found it especially gripping that Eliza, Alexander’s dear wife, took over the telling of the story in the end. Putting herself back in the narrative, she could speak with depth of the Alexander she knew—yes, his sins were readily evident, but she shone the light on his victories and aspirations and the support of those who surrounded him.
When all is said and done, isn’t that what we want—someone who loves us enough to forgive the grievances we’ve caused and instead focus on the goodness they saw in our heart? God’s grace unending.
Yet two more things to ask ourselves:
Whose story needs us to tell it today?
When our own story is told, what will they say?
“Oh, I can’t wait to see you again. It’s only a matter of—time.”
(photo above: my copy of Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter)