Thursday, October 23, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: The Duchess

Keira Knightley perfectly plays the Duchess of Devonshire in her new movie, "The Duchess." What lessons of faithfulness can we learn from such a movie?

Podcast version here

Nehemiah 9:33 In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong.

Yesterday, Evelyn and I went to see the new British movie called “The Duchess.” It stars Keira Knightley, who usually pouts, sighs, and overacts too much for me to enjoy any of her movies. I wanted to see this movie because I read the book a couple of years ago.

It’s all about Georgiana Cavendish, who marries young to become the Duchess of Devonshire. It takes place towards the end of the 18th century, when Britain was undergoing turmoil due to the American Revolution overseas. The movie portrays the loves and sadnesses in Georgiana’s life, as well as the impact that she had on society. Keira Knightley portrays her perfectly, whilst the scenery and costumes are absolutely amazing. It’s one of those movies that you have to see on the big screen and I give it two thumbs up.

Who was the Duchess of Devonshire? She was the Princess Diana and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of her time. She was a trend setter whose sense of fashion was copied throughout Britain. She was also a political pioneer and even although she could not vote, she made appearances and speeches at conventions, seeking to usher in a brave new world for the failing British Empire. Many of the famous Gainsborough paintings of Regency women were based upon Georgiana’s influence. Had she lived in today’s world, she would be on the cover of every fashion magazine on earth, as well as Time magazine.

The sadness in her life was that she desperately tried to be faithful to her older husband. His unfaithfulness and rakish life both shocked and scandalized her until she was forced to look for love elsewhere. She had an affair and a daughter by her lover Charles Grey, who was destined to become Prime Minister of Britain and to whom Earl Grey tea is named after. Georgiana sadly died at the young age of 49. Two of her most famous descendants were Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, both of whom were married to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew of the present British Royal Family.

So what’s this got to do with a devotional for today? I think it comes in the faithfulness factor. Georgiana was a young girl when she married, full of hopes, dreams, and expectations. Those closest to her wronged her and changed her through their unfaithfulness, which serves as a lesson for all of us.

God remains faithful to us through the power of Christ’s obedience to Him. We are often unfaithful in worshiping and revering God, but His patience is long standing and His love for us endures. Through Jesus, we can come back to God at any time, to confess our biggest faults and mistakes. With Christ beside us, we are heard, cleansed, and restored to God, no matter who we are or what we’ve done.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive our foolish and unfaithful ways. Cleanse us of the past and restore us to God’s favor. You are our Lord and Champion; our Savior and Great Redeemer. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

No comments: