I don’t know if you follow much Hollywood news, I know I don’t, but a recent article caught my eye on my home page. It was an article about Jodie Foster who has a film coming out in which she directed Mel Gibson, and the tag line was, “I knew the minute I met him I would love him the rest of my life.” For those of you living in a cave, Mr. Gibson has been on the bad end of a press firestorm this past year or more – from a divorce, to anti-Semitic comments, to an abusive relationship with a girlfriend, he’s been under fire. Rightly so.
But regardless of what you think of him, I was moved by this article. Ms. Foster and Mr. Gibson first worked together in 1994 and remained close friends. She watched as all the bad stuff unraveled this past year. And yet, when questioned about working with him recently, she had this to say, “I know that he has troubles, and when you love somebody you don’t just walk away from them when they are struggling.” (The article is reprinted here.)
Can you imagine what reprieve he felt when he read those words? Unconditional, and very public, love and support by someone highly regarded in his community. It didn’t erase the bad press. It didn’t erase his bad acts. But it must have given him some peace, some solace, to know there was a port in the storm. A safe place to go. Some love left.
If you’re in a patch where you feel unforgivable, if you feel you could never be loved, if it feels as though your actions have submarined any chance you might have at a bright future, know there is a resting place. A place of love. A port in the storm. It doesn’t remove what has happened, but it gives you a place to turn. Hope that there is love left.
Deuteronomy 33 – There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
2 Samuel 22 – The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me.
Psalm 25 – Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 57 – Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Luke 15 – There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. …When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.