Monday, November 2, 2009
It just so happened that I picked up a bargain DVD from Walmart last week. It seemed perfect for today ~ The Rainmaker (1956), with Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster. I had seen bits and pieces of this movie as a kid, but had never gotten to watch the whole thing. You can always count on Katherine Hepburn for a stellar performance.
Her character, Lizzy, is a perfect picture of shattered dreams, of "hope deferred" making her heart sick. And it's not just her. Her whole family is losing hope. The drought is killing their cattle. Then, in rides Bill Starbuck. (Yes, that's his name.) He's a con-artist who says he can make it rain...for $100, and a few crazy stunts. Lizzy's father and younger brother, desperate to believe again, go along with Starbuck's foolishness. Lizzy and her older brother, Noah (interesting name choice for someone needing rain...), see right through Starbuck and tell him so. But Starbuck can see that this family is in need of much more than just rain. Here's a clip of Lizzy, finally opening up to the possibility that she is more than she appears.
It is a beautiful story of the power of believing. It's an example of what our belief and encouragement can do in someone's life. This will be one that I will watch again and again. It's old-fashioned and corny, but some days nothing else will do.
If I could add anything to this story, it would be that our true source of worth is not found merely looking inside ourselves, or in a man or any other human. Heaven knows that only leads to other problems. It is only found in Jesus Christ. In Starbuck, Lizzy finds a type of savior. He looks at her with love and she sees that love reflected back, making her beautiful. I love that image. And just as Jesus does that for each of us (if we have the courage to look into His eyes...) we, too, can do it for others, pointing to the worth they have in Jesus. There is no better way to be like Jesus, than to reflect His love.
In the end....wait, you'll just have to watch it for yourself. But don't save it for a rainy day. Sharing the grace of encouragement is great when the sun is shinning, too! *;)