Pronunciation Guide

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Loving the Bad Man

The above is the title of the movie I just finished watching on Netflix.

Here is the blurb about it:

“When a young Christian woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she embarks on a journey that forces her to redefine her relationship with God. As she struggles to forgive her rapist, she visits him in prison and forges an unlikely bond with him.”

The first sentence of the storyline caught my attention because, years ago, I started writing a story like that, almost exactly.

The second sentence…the whole “unlikely bond with him” thing…


I am trying to figure out how to explain this.

…Taking a deep breath. …Whew.

In my story, my main girl is in a brothel. If you have followed my posts at all, you know that. What you may or may not know is that one of the men from the brothel comes back into the story. [Love.] His remorse and her forgiveness is increasingly becoming a focal point. This whole thing was unintended, entirely innocent on my part, and the first of many hijacks by God. [My thought was nothing more than this: “…It would be interesting if one of these guys came back into the story and she saw him again.” …God took that and totally ran with it.]

But this movie…acting and editing and writing aside, I have never really seen anything that so closely depicts what happens in my story. And don’t get me wrong, this movie is nothing like it really. But several things stood out to me:

1. The rapist was portrayed as a real person. An angry, lonely, hopeless guy.
2. He went through a radical transformation.
3. There was no romance between him and the girl, and that was made clear.
4. Her forgiveness of him paved the way for a friendship/reconciliation.

Take those four things just as they are, apart from the movie’s storyline…and you have my story. [Again, apart from the storyline.]

1. I am doing my best to portray my guy --- actually, all of the inn-guys --- as “real” people with feelings and thoughts and lives and all of that. I know why most of the guys go to the inn, and I know exactly why this particular guy goes.
2. I am utterly focused on showing his remorse and transformation.
3. There is absolutely no romance between him and my girl. None. Nada. Zip.
4. And lastly, my girl’s forgiveness isn’t the type of “forgiveness” of holding someone at arm’s length while claiming to hold nothing against them.* Her forgiveness precedes reconciliation/friendship. And to be quite blunt, they not only become friends…but good friends. [LOVE.]

[*There are definitely times when reconciliation is not possible --- whether because it is not safe, not healthy, the other party refuses to reconcile, or because someone is no longer alive. I don’t believe that reconciliation MUST take place, or else the forgiveness isn’t real forgiveness. I do, however, believe that there must be a WILLINGNESS for reconciliation. If that willingness is not there…I mean, I’m not going to judge your heart. That’s something you’ll have to take up with God. But my belief is that forgiveness and reconciliation are two sides to the same coin. If you truly have one, you will seek/be open to the other, as far as it depends on you.]

…I realize that many people do not see things as I do. I have received a lot of flak for my defense of the “criminals” in our world, simply for pointing out that they are people, created in the image of God, with families and personalities and such. I’ve been called names, defriended [both on facebook and apparently in real life], and assumed to be crazy. I’ve had people blow me off over this, and one person hoped that my child would be raped so I’d understand just how much a child rapist doesn’t deserve to live. [Yep. Totally serious.]

To be honest, I’ve wondered at times if someday God will humble me, make me eat my own words/claims. [I’ve had people wish that on me too. Apparently these horrible things are only horrible if they happen to people who do not view the offender as a person.]

…But if something ever does happen…I truly hope that I would respond with love, forgiveness, and a willingness to be reconciled with that person.

Because, you know what…I’ve done some pretty bad things…and God has responded with love toward me. He forgave me when I was his enemy, while I shook my fist at him and spit in his face. And he wasn’t merely willing that we be reconciled…he died and rose back to life to make a way for us to be reconciled and be together forever.

…I am to love others as he loves me, with his love.

That means that I must not only be willing to forgive those who hurt me [and who hurt those I love], but to reconcile with them as well. …It’s like one of those adjoining hotel rooms. Each room has a door; both people have to open their doors to make a passageway between the rooms.

The other person can choose to keep their door shut and locked.
But as for my door? …It should stand wide open.
And in the grace of God, no matter what someone does to me…it will.

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