We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6

From Our “Here”…

Whether on a big screen, TV screen, computer or phone, movies are a global phenomenon. The titles and plots may change, but the medium transcends race, region and religion. For every blockbuster that pulses through popular culture, dozens of lesser creations fly quickly into anonymity and into the $5 DVD bins at your local supercenter. Often, their creators seek to be equally unknown and want to shift the blame to a producer or studio.

From 1969 to 2000, if you were a Hollywood director who believed the creative control of your film had been wrested from your creative little hands, you could beg the Directors Guild of America to replace your name with a pseudonym. If the guild agreed, “Alan Smithee” was the allowed name.

“Smithee” was first applied to the 1969 Western Death of a Gunfighter and retired in 2000 when the embarrassment-covering credit of “Thomas Lee” was given to the film Supernova. Since then, a variety of alternate names have come into use.

An “Alan Smithee” option could come in handy even if you’re not a director. A poorly chosen remark? “Alan Smithee said that. What I actually said was more along the lines of …” About to receive a speeding ticket? “I can assure you, officer, Alan Smithee was behind the wheel…”

In truth, our mistakes are ours to own, and no amount of “Smithee-ing” can cover them up. Followers of Christ find new reasons every day to be grateful for God’s grace. It is astounding that the One who sees our sins most clearly, who absolutely knows every deed for which we are responsible, is willing to apply a divine “Alan Smithee” of sorts.

…To God’s “There”

The mystery of Calvary is how Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. Centuries before Christ, one Old Testament prophet described that miracle this way: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

In navigating life, we must still take responsibility for what we do and say. But, because of Jesus, the eternal fallout of our sins can be removed. We who could never cleanse ourselves from sin’s stain are invited to accept Christ’s atonement for us and be made spiritually whole and holy before our Heavenly Father.

Living with the assurance of God’s grace constantly at work in us should impel us to invite others to discover and experience the same miracle. The more we are made aware of how thoroughly we have been cleansed and changed, the more deeply we should want those blessings for the lost around us near and far.

Making the Leap

As an act of gratitude for what God has done for you, dedicate your life to being a conduit of His truth to others. Become a participant in God’s plan to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.