THE TAKE AWAY
Salvation and our Personal Story
By Kersley Fitzgerald
Salvation and our Personal Story
Salvation and our Broken Story
Salvation and Personal Responsibility
The Tenth Kingdom is a miniseries about a young woman named Virginia and her father, Tony, who fall through a porthole into a fairytale land under attack by an evil witch. After an arduous trek, a narrow escape from angry dwarves, and a mysterious encounter with the ghost of Snow White, Virginia holds up Snow White's mirror and asks it to show her the evil queen they've been running from.
It's her mother. Her mother who, ten years before, had tried to drown Virginia in her bath, and then disappeared into the night.
Virginia had spent most of her life waitressing, trying to keep Tony out of trouble, and glibly accepting her single-parent upbringing. But her personal story was much bigger than she'd remembered. Her mother hadn't left her husband for a ski instructor; she'd tried to kill her daughter and then became an evil witch.
Overwhelmed, suffocating under the weight, Virginia cries out, "I mean I still have this uncontrollable urge to just go up to people and say 'My mother left me when I was seven!' As if that would explain everything. And I miss her. And I hate her! And I miss her... [I feel like] I was on a train and it crashed or something, and no one came and rescued me!"
There is a movement in modern Christianity to take every thought, every feeling, captive and squash it like a bug. "If it's not from God, it's sin." As Virginia found, this belief doesn't bring healing; it brings shame and good behavior, and a great deal of confusion. There is a time to "suck it up and get 'er done," but there's also a (beautiful, hard) time to acknowledge our personal story, then reach out and touch Christ's robe (Matthew 9:20-22).
Because in any story, beyond plot and character development, there is a meta-narrative. It's the spirit of the author that characters react to and interact with but can't control — they can't even completely understand it. It reaches into every story, chosen or not, and tries to shape us into being the hero the third act needs.
The Divine Author
The word "author" originally meant father, originator, creator, instigator. It's the word from which we get "authority," because the instigator, the creator, does have authority.
Our author/creator/originator is God. He was there in every scene of our lives (Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 29:11). He knew us at the beginning, and He has been working ever since. Not to give us what we want (we make that presumption so often!) but to shape us into who we were meant to be. He can work good out of anything (Romans 8:28). We don't have to run or deny or shove entire chunks of our life into a closet. We can choose to ask God how it fits, let Him put it into perspective, and be a better hero for it.
Shortly after Virginia's breakdown, she and Tony meet back up with Wolf — the once-agent of the Queen who fell in love with Virginia and tried to roast her grandmother. Virginia, scared that Wolf will reject her, admits the Queen is her mother. "I know," Wolf says. "I knew that the first moment I smelled you." He knew Virginia's tragic story before even she did. He knew it affected who she was, but he loved her, anyway, and trusted her to use it to choose a better story.
comments powered by Disqus