The Juggling of Grace

I hate to admit it. The shame and guilt eat at me. But there’s no way around it, I’m a fan of The Bachelorette. Not only that, I’m a fan of the whole franchise. I’m currently patiently awaiting the misfits of past seasons to hit the beaches on the Bachelor in Paradise. It’s just good television and no one should have to defend themselves for that. Now that I’ve exposed myself I’d like to describe the messiness of grace and the juggling of it displayed on the latest season of The Bachelorette.

Luke P. The name alone could be a trigger for someone. It sparks thoughts of toxic masculinity, judgment and the possibility of overdosing on protein shakes. But for me, it brings to mind how the law can invade and oppress. You see, Luke began his journey on the show by discussing his relationship with God. He harkens back to a moment he had in the shower where God visited him, informing him he wasn’t the man he should be. Luke felt the weight of the law and felt God wanted him to step his game up. Years later he had. At least in his mind. He was ready to now pursue Hannah.

Hannah was the Bachelorette who also found herself a bit religious, possibly tied to her southern roots. This becomes a bonding point for Luke and herself, even with all the chaos which comes with Luke. There are many differing opinions on Luke’s manipulation, confidence (or arrogance), and honesty. These issues are for a different post. I’d like to zoom in on a specific night. Fantasy Suite night.

The Fantasy Suite is where the final three or four contestants get the opportunity to stay overnight, usually implying some rustling under the covers. Luke decided to use this time to hold the law over Hannah for her recent sexual encounters, even though Luke openly admits his own sexual promiscuity in the past. Hannah stood firm in her belief of God’s love for her and sent him home after a heated debate and a plea to not be treated like the woman caught in adultery. Unfortunately, Luke had already thrown his stone.

Fast forward to the Men Tell All night where all the contestants get in front of a live audience and hash out the season. The “winning” man, Jed, who had criticized and mocked Luke for his ill intentions, had a secret relationship he was hiding. The law had struck him down next, his engagement now in shambles. But then Hannah turns to Luke and dishes it out. She had stood firm on her acceptance from God before, but now it was time for Luke to hear from Mount Sinai. She accepts his apology but then goes off about his need for fruit and progression in morals. The rest of the show ends up being a rock throwing party at Luke. The grace we receive can quickly turn into the law we decree.

It’s no surprise from a show designed to create drama that we find ourselves in a giant mess at the end of the season. The law started its work in Luke’s shower as he looked to God and promised to be better. Then it slammed its verdict on Hannah and her time in the windmill, or couple times as she puts it. Jed is soon found crushed under the gavel and then Hannah, who had a moment of trusting in grace, then took to the podium and declared guilty over Luke. Then there was me. On the other side of the screen, better than them all.

The law seeps into everything and spreads like a virus. Even as grace is being juggled it attempts to distract. Thankfully, throughout the mess the law has made we still have access to the grand jester who juggles grace the best on our behalf. And thankfully, he is laughing along at the mess, juggling us all in his grace. The contestants, the Bachelorette and yes, even me. The onlooker reclined on his couch trying to keep his hand off the gavel.

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