Years ago the movie “Forest Gump” was a huge hit. It was a decent movie. When I read the book all I could wonder was how the screenwriter got the movie from the book! Two scenes from that movie punched me in the gut.
Jeanie, Forest’s lifetime love, had come home following a binge of bad choices and consequences and found refuge at Forest’s house, in the realness of who he was and had always been. They take a walk one day and come upon the house Jeannie grew up in. If you’d been wondering before then why Jeanie had been so determined to get away, run away there is little doubt after this scene. When she begins to hurl rock after rock after rock at the small now abandoned shack the fact Jeanie had been abused growing up there was clear. She falls to the ground, weeping and I believe knowing there just aren’t enough rocks to pound away the scars, the pain. Forrest just simply holds her.
I suppose it doesn’t matter what abandoned shack calls you back repeatedly to remind you of how someone’s words and/or actions repeatedly told you how worthless you were. I have mine. You surely have your’s. Some of us bear scars easier to see. Others are far more adept at hiding them. Doesn’t erase them, the hiding, the visibility doesn’t make them easier for others to understand either.
Jeanie eventually makes peace with her life but does so apart from Forest. She reminds me a bit of the Woman at the Well and the Woman Caught in Adultery, to the first Jesus says,
“…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” (John 4:13 NIV)
To the other Jesus says after she has been publically accused of adultery and Jesus tells her accusers, “…If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one they dropped their stones and walked away. Jesus stands up and looks at the woman and says,
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b NIV)
Jeanie needed living water to drink, to be cleansed of not just her sins but the sins of others against her. She also needed to find a way of life where she honored the good things (God) not the bad (Satan). There have been many times I’ve sunk to the ground exhausted from throwing rocks at my own abandoned shack and many when I’ve deserved the consequences of my actions. Yet God had been merciful…I’ll never be rid of the shack of pain and hurt but God and I have been able to dismantle it enough I see progress…I’ll never be where I don’t deserve the consequences of my sins either…but Jesus will be with me and use it for good in some way. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Whatever your abandoned shack that keeps calling you back, that you are angrily hurling stones at I pray you find comfort in God and that you’ll allow Him to help you dismantle it. Whatever the consequences of your actions I pray one day you see how God uses it for good. Care to share about your shack? Consequences?