Season Three of the famous Masterpiece series Downton Abbey came to a conclusion with a grand finale, and no I am not going to weigh in on THAT.....rather I thought it a great time to share my all time favorite scene and why I am so taken with it.
In the last episode of Season Two entitled "Christmas at Downton Abbey" Daisy the kitchen maid finally pays a visit to the farm of her father in law Mr. Mason. If you aren't familiar with the storyline, Daisy married the farmer's son William on his death bed, doing it more as an act of kindness to a dying soldier than out of deep affection. She has been conflicted about it ever since. This scene opens with William's father fixing tea for Daisy and goes something like this:
Daisy: You shouldn't have gone to all this trouble ...not for me.
Farmer: No? Not when you're the nearest thing to a child of mine left on earth?
Daisy: Well I don't deserve it... not when I was only married to William for a few hours...you were there, you saw it.
The farmer goes on to explain to Daisy that William had three brothers and one sister all who died at or near child birth. He believes one of the reasons William married Daisy even though he was dying was so that his father would not be left alone. Then Mr. Mason makes this amazing confession and beautiful offer to Daisy....
"Without you I would have no one to pray for. So will you be my daughter? Let me take you into my heart and make you special? You have parents of course..."
Daisy: No I have no parents....never been special to anyone.
Farmer: Except William
Daisy: I was only ever special to William ...never thought of it like that before.
Sweet, sentimental, but the all time favorite out of the entire three seasons? Yes! Let me explain why. I see within this little exchange a beautiful resemblance to a much Larger Story. The dying son marries Daisy to ensure her being taken care of and so his father won't be bereft of children. An act of loving kindness to be sure but it is the father's invitation that captures my heart. "Will you be my daughter...let me take you into my heart and make you special?" This is the very heart of God the Father who having lost his children now extends the greatest invitation ever to those loved by the Son, "come and be my daughter and let me take you into my heart and be a special treasure to me".
Daisy the kitchen maid the very least in the world she inhabits, who has never been special to anyone is invited out of her small story and into a place of relationship, blessing, and inheritance all because she was the beloved of the son. Now she has a father who will mentor her, guide her and take care of her; she can leave "service" and come to the farm and to be his apprentice for he will give her everything he owns!
When we reduce the gospel to a religious act of "asking Jesus into our heart" to get us into heaven when we die we minimize the extravagant love of God and bring Him down to our size. How much greater to hear the invitation as it should be heard..."will you be my son/daughter and let me take you into my heart and make you special to me....Be my apprentice...I will teach you all you need to know for the inheritance that I am going to give you"
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1Peter 2:9-10