Saving Mr Banks

father and daughter, Saving Mr. Banks

Just before Christmas, I took Martha to see the movie ” Saving Mr Banks. ” It’s a very poignant depiction of the backstory related to the character of Mary Poppins.  I recommend it to you, it’s a wonderful watch.  And in this post, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I’ll not be recounting the tale.  But I do want to express some light I had on the film, because it relates to my Cold Love posts.

You know, as we pass through this world, we don’t just meet people – we meet their deeply personal and extensive storylines.  We greet living narratives, so to speak, with timelines, many choices and history. You never simply meet a two-dimensional paper façade; you encounter a complex stacking of events and background. We may not wish for others to see below the surface, but most can glimpse our living choices. We might say something like this: “They look rode hard and put up wet,” or “He has such a stone-cold countenance, ” or “She’s like a ray of sunshine and can lighten up any room.” Even if we attempt to hide behind our veils, we’re usually an open-book that can be read. It’s as Oscar Wilde said, “A man’s face is his autobiography.”

Yes, our present reality is the collision point between two incredibly charged forces—our past events and choices, with our hopes and fears of the future. Everyone meets us right in the middle of our personal ground zero. It’s all my hopes, fears, failures, and successes – life is exposed through my countenance.  You might not care about the particulars of my story, but the evidence is written on my face nonetheless.

It’s hard not to respond to the negatives in others. When encountered, it feels like a personal affront. But I’m praying for God to give me great consideration for those I meet. Cold love has no empathy; it’s only concerned with personal rights and inconveniences. And though they may be stern or mean or foolish, I don’t know their background.  I’m not excusing anyone, for we all are responsible and culpable for who we are. And I certainly am not advocating enabling evil. But not knowing all the facts does give me pause before jumping in and immediately condemning. You know, I even see this reality as I deal with myself.  I hardly ever have compassion for myself. I quickly condemn myself as stupid or foolish, even knowing my personal backstory.  Hmm, that isn’t how Jesus handles me.  Thank you, God!

So, I’ve proved there is a story, but who’s the writer? Well, my choices do affect my destiny, but ultimately, the Author of my story is God.  All our stories are GOD’s—it’s HIStory.  We can’t escape the script our Author penned. I can resist, rebel, or kick against it, but it’s my story regardless.

God sets up our individual worlds to make us dependent and needy.  Our fight, by nature, is to be independent of God and others.  “I’ll do it myself, thank you!” But God, as the Author of our HIStory, has set our lives up so we would seek Him.

So, as I pass through this world and meet the countless souls with their lives written across their faces, I’m asking for His eyes to see, His heart to feel, and His mind to discern what is the actual, factual and real.  His love is the answer to this quandary, for His love is the only thing that can melt the hardened, sooth the hysterical and touch the devastated.

Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously.
John 7:24 (AMP)

You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone.
John 8:15 (AMP)

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    • Gaby

      HIStory !
      John, so often you are so wonderful in putting truth into ONE word!

    • Sam


    • Tammy


    • Tina

      Indeed it is the gentleness and goodness of God and through other’s that softens the most hardened and fearful heart. Through God’s eyes we do not fear the evil we see. Only in brokenness and humility and by constant asking is He enabling me to see my way to love. To love myself as well as others. It is a narrow path of becoming like Jesus by His grace alone. The Power of Brokenness is a old little book by Don Nori Sr. that personifies this well.
      Thank God for His mercy and goodness.

    • Pauline

      “You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone.”
      John 8:15 (AMP)
      I remember a little visual my husband gave me many years ago when he was gently trying to admonish me in an area that needed to be dealt with.
      A man walked into the lunch room at work, kicked the vending machine with all he had, muttered some choice words in an angry tone, then walked out. Later, another man did the exact same thing. Wouldn’t they, naturally-speaking, be ‘judged’ the same?
      Well, you see, the first man that came in to the lunch room was angry because he was passed over for a raise he had been expecting — it went to someone else in his department. The second man had just received a phone call that his wife and little son were instantly killed by the oncoming car of a drunk driver.
      Who are we? It is so true, John — we do need God’s eyes and mind and heart and love as we pass through this world. Thank you, John!

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    • Andrea

      yes …. God has been showing me the “sacred space” of one another …. and teaching me the necessity of looking right through the glittering image we all portray into that tender area of the heart garden …..

      I so deeply appreciate you all and pray your 2014 is absolutely filled with surprise encounters with His grace …

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