March 5, 2010

Finding God in Forrest Gump

Last week was "you can't get enough of Gump" week on the television. It had been a while since we last watched Forrest Gump--we used to own the movie, but apparently loaned   gave it out  to someone and never got it back--so we decided to turn it on for the evening.  I was enjoying some knitting while watching, but I put down my knitting to watch the scene where Forrest is speaking at the mall in D.C.  At the end of his speech, Jenny runs across the water screaming, "Forrest! Forrest!" and Forrest runs after her screaming, "Jenny!"  As this scene played out, I said to Ben, "This part always makes me cry." He looked at me as if to say, "Typical female.....crying for no reason."  I then went on to say, "Forrest loves her so much. Jenny has not been nice to him, she has rejected his attempts to have a relationship with her, she has returned (unopened) all of his letters, and yet when she runs after him he runs right back with arms open wide and no condemnation in his heart."  I told Ben that Forrest loves Jenny like God loves us.....unconditionally.
Ben was a little surprised at what I had said and as he began to think about it, he agreed that  Forrest shows Jenny the agape love that God shows to us. 
Agape love is best defined in I Corinthians 13--the familiar chapter on love.  What we rarely focus on from this chapter is that the love that is defined in all these verses is agape....not eros or philos.  This chapter is read at weddings, for husbands and wives, but we never mention that it is impossible for us to truly agape each other without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  It is very clear that agape is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is never obscene, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails!  I don't know about you, but I know that I cannot truly agape someone without God in my life.  Our human nature goes against it. Take for example Forrest Gump many of us would have kept a record of wrongs [just one characteristic from the list] with Jenny?  We would have said, "You didn't write back, you didn't even read my letters, you returned them must not care about ME, so I am just going to forget about you."  Isn't that how we treat people?  And isn't it true  that most people would say Forrest was "weak" or a "wimp" because he didn't treat Jenny like that? When I watched Forrest run to Jenny with just about every characteristic of agape, I thought about how wonderful it would be for us to totally surrender our hearts to God so that we too would agape the people in our lives.  If we would just surrender to the empowerment and temperament of the Holy Spirit He will fill us! 
Oswald Chambers said, "Love is the sovereign preference of my person for another person, and when the Holy Spirit is in you, that other person is Jesus. The only lover of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost."  

Beth Moore explained it by saying, "Do you realize that even the capacity to love God is completely divine and supernatural? Upon your constant request and deepest heart's desire, God will supply you with a divine, ever-growing love for Himself."   If we truly love God, then we will love as God loves.....which means we will then be able to love the people that we thought we couldn't love.  How exciting is that?  It isn't up to us to "make" ourselves love others! It isn't because we aren't patient or kind enough [on our own]! It isn't because of any "fault" of our own because we didn't "try" hard enough.  We can't do it on our own!! It is simply because we haven't surrendered to the Holy Spirit in that area.  HE does the rest!!

Think on this and ask God to give you the ability to truly love Him and  in turn show that love to others through agape [love].


Mike said...

AWEsome exegesis! I can only love because He first loved me.

BTW, though......I HATE Forrest Gump and I'm not too fond of Tom Hanks either. So, I'm keeping tabs on all of the BAD movies you watch. :)

Caci said...

Thanks for making me laugh, Dad! :-)

Dr Eva said...

SO TRUE! I cry at that part every time too, by the way. But you are so right with that. Great illustration. Did I mention that I miss you and so wish that you lived right by me??