Talking Point – May 2021

MOVING FORWARD IN A STRAIGHT LINE

I RECENTLY watched the film ‘News of the World.’ It is set in 1870 just after the American Civil War, and stars Tom Hanks as a retired Army Captain, Jefferson Kidd, who makes a living travelling town to town across the Southern States reading the latest news. On his travels he comes across a young girl who has been abandoned. It transpires that she is a German immigrant who, six years earlier, had been taken by the Kiowa Native Americans after her parents had been killed by them in retaliation for white settlers’ crimes against their tribe. Then, six years later, the Kiowa family who had adopted her were massacred by the Federal Authorities. She had witnessed both events.
Captain Kidd, receiving no help from the authorities tells them, ‘This little girl is lost, she needs to be home.’ He then takes her on a journey to find a relative of her German parents. It is a wonderful story of gaining trust as they travel. At one point, despite the language difficulties, there is a conversation where the Captain tells her she must ‘move forward in a straight line,’ and she describes that with the Kiowa she was used to travelling in circular movements. After several twists in the story the Captain adopts her as his daughter and the film has a wonderful ending.
It is a moving story of love and restoration following trauma, loss and sadness. It reminded me of how God helps each one of us to move on when we face similar difficulties. The Bible encourages us to trust God for, when we do, He will guide us and make our paths straight (Proverbs 3, verses 5-6) embracing us with His healing and restoration (Jeremiah, verse17). He helps us to move on from any trauma we have experienced. Also, when we trust God, like the young girl in the film, we find our home, a place to belong as He adopts us into His family as sons and daughters (Ephesians 1, verse 5 and John 3, verse 1).
During this season when Covid-19 has impacted all our lives and where so many have faced a variety of difficulties, let me encourage you to trust God and let Him bring His healing and restoration in relation to any trauma or loss you may have experienced. Trust Him to help you move forward with Him and enjoy the sense of belonging as you find your home with Him as a dear child of God adopted into His family!

Keith Saynor

Pastor Grace Church Caversham

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