I guess I love this movie so much because it has so many life lessons in it. Lessons I carry with me to this day. Lessons regarding dignity and integrity and compassion. Life can be hard, as we all know. We don't stop wrestling with it just because we "grow up."
There is a scene in the movie where the neighbor lady, Miss Maudie Atkinson is trying to help Jem, the young son in the movie understand why his dad, Atticus Finch is defending Tom Robinson. She says, "I don't know if it will help saying this to you... some men in this world are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us... your father is one of them."
I want to pose this thought to you; An Atticus Finch is inside of all of us and is just waiting to be brought out. And if so, wouldn't that be grand!? I am naive enough to think it is possible.
There is another scene in the movie that I would like to point out with this quote; "That boy is your company. And if he wants to eat up that tablecloth, you let him, you hear? And if you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen" This is a quote by Calpurnia, she was the family cook and took care of Jem and Scout and taught them many life lessons as well.
The boy Calpurnia is referring to had requested syrup and had started pouring it all over his dinner and Scout started chiding him about it. The boy then stopped eating and felt ashamed for what he had done. I bring this scene up because even though this was a small boy and a seemingly insignificant incident, it was still about DIGNITY.
Whether we are in the position of someone like Atticus or Calpurnia, no matter. One of my many favorite stories in the Bible is found in Luke 7:36-47 NKJ. The verse that especially speaks to me is found in vs. 47; "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
From the realization of the sacrifice made on our behalf comes an overflow of gratitude and thanksgiving. This attitude affects all the relationships around us. It is a "heart" condition. We once had a heart of stone and the Great Physician replaced it with a heart of flesh Ezekiel 36:26 NKJ. If you are a believer, you have been given a "heart transplant!" I think this qualifies you and I as a possible Atticus or Calpurnia!
Life can be hard and people can be hard to love (just ask my husband)! BUT GOD has made a way for us to extend His love to others through His Son. Love isn't always pretty and doesn't always give us a "warm fuzzy" feeling. It can masquerade itself as an "unpleasant job" as described in the movie.
The reality is that love sometimes requires making tough choices and confronting issues we would just as soon not deal with, but that is where integrity is born. Sometimes it requires us to become an Atticus Finch or a Calpurnia...something or someone has to become more important than our fear of loving before we can love the way He loves us 1 John 4:18 NKJ. We can do it. God has made a way. How can we do any less? Courageous by Casting Crowns is my prayer and my song for us today:
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?