Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Hamilton, I will be discussing details of the show.
I get the hype now. To all of those fans of Hamilton who joined the movement from day one, I apologize. My daughter is one of those fans. She learned every song. Not an easy task if you have heard the music. There are a ton of lyrics in just one verse. She knows the names of all the original cast members and what they are doing now. She read Lin-Manuel Miranda’s notes on the lyrics and storyline. She is a true Hamilton-fan. Now I am too.
I had heard the entire soundtrack several times over with my daughter. I’ve seen scenes played out on the Tony’s and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yet, to see the story unfold in its entirety, was different. Apart from the amazing choreography and vocal skill, the story got to me. This isn’t your typical history book. Two themes captured me in this show: Forgiveness and are you a Burr or Hamilton?
Forgiveness. Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite musicals because of the impact of the forgiveness and mercy offered to Jean Valjean by the bishop. It gets me every time and sucks me into watching a man’s life unfold who has been given not just a second chance, but pure forgiveness and undeserved mercy. I want to live my life with the knowledge that I have been given that too – from God. Forgiveness in Hamilton comes late in the show. Eliza Hamilton forgives her husband of his affair. The couple is estranged after he prints a publication revealing his affair. When their son is killed in a duel, she grabs Alexander’s hand thus offering forgiveness. The lyrics even say “Forgiveness, can you imagine?” No. He publicly humiliated her. He betrayed her. Yet, in this moment of shared grief and facing life without their son, they reunite. Powerful, powerful moment.
Are you a Burr or Hamilton? I asked my kids this on the way home. We have 2 Burrs and 1 Hamilton. Burr is depicted in this show as a people-pleaser, a “do what it takes” to get ahead person but always within the rules of the game and do not make waves. Hamilton is a hot-head, speak what’s on your mind, strive for excellence, take risks and don’t think, act. At one point, both men study law. Burr comments that Hamilton excels so quickly yet they started at the same time. Hamilton’s aggressive style got him results quicker than the safe path. There are pros and cons to being either type of person. I couldn’t shake the feeling that as a Hamilton, I need to make sure I think more before I act. I need to consider others before I respond with my personal convictions. I need to remember excellence isn’t perfection – that doesn’t exist.
Whether you tend to be a Hamilton or a Burr, our goal is not to be either man. Let’s model our lives after Jesus. He has a righteous anger. Jesus is direct and shares with confidence. Jesus had excellence in all He does because He is perfection. He always consulted His father (God) before making decisions on earth. We are about to celebrate His birthday – Christmas. Let’s offer forgiveness to all who need it from us. He gives it to us when we are so undeserving. Let’s also give Him the gift of focusing on an area in our life that we can be more like Him.
Dream Big! Pray Big!