Thursday, March 25, 2010
Finding wonderful when Mr. Potter shows his ugly face
*SPOILER ALERT!* IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN "It's a Wonderful Life" #1: I'm going to talk about key plot moments here, so stop reading! & #2: Go now!!! buy it, borrow it, rent it, whatever... Just watch it, for Pete's sake!!! What are you waiting for!?!
So, I was watching the news last night when they shared a local story. It was about this older woman who had lost her life savings. I was, of course expecting to hear that she was swindled by some "slick youngster", but that wasn't the case. She went to the bank and withdrew her life savings from a safety deposit box and placed those contents in an envelope...but the money was gone, without a trace, when she got home. I was dragged into this sad story hook, line, and sinker. I can tell you the exact look on my face: My head was tilted to the side slightly, my eyes were full of compassion, (and nearly tears!) and my mouth was open in a little sad pout. That is when Kamran walked in. He asked me what was wrong and I brought him up to speed as the reporter continued with the story. I said to him, "It's just like It's a Wonderful Life! All that money, and even in an envelope at the bank! How sad...". About that time the reporter finished the story by saying that the family is offering a reward for any information that could help their loved one. Then they gave her name.... It was: Mrs. Potter. Wide eyed, I double gasped. "Potter!!!! Oh my gosh!" My husband, who was obviously not as emotionally invested in the story as I was, simple erupted into laughter. He isn't cruel, anyone who knows Kam knows that. But- he wouldn't miss the opportunity to poke fun at me either. To tease me even more, he turned to the screen and pointed his finger, and said in a funny, yet grumpy voice: "What goes around comes around, Potter!" Then he laughed again, and at that point I also found myself laughing hysterically at the whole thing, then feeling bad for the real Mrs. Potter, I tried to stop, but eventually conceded to laughing again at the irony.
I was a grown woman of nearly 30 before I saw "It's a Wonderful Life". It is such a good story, with more than one very deep message. I, like many, love it for that, especially from a Christian view point, applying the same ideas to my own life. God has a plan you know, for you and your real life, just as He did fictitiously for George Bailey in the story. I have to admit though, that when the movie was over I was pretty surprised that Mr. Potter never got what he had coming to him. I felt a little unjustified in that old geezer not being brought to justice. That is when, this story went from fairy tale to real life for me.... This part of the story was 100% real life, without the Hollywood cherry on top. This happens to you, and to me. Sometimes Mr. Potter wins, and the world is none the wiser. Sometimes Mr. Potter wins, and the world just doesn't care. BUT, its ok, isn't it. Those of us who put our faith in trust in Jesus know a few things that can help us past the nasty ol' Mr. Potter moments our lives. Here are 3:
1. God says that vengeance is His in Romans 12:19. He is omnipotent and He knows the other side of your situation. He sees the big picture with every view He takes. We are to let Him take care of it. He has our back. Sometimes He lets us see the other side, but there is no promise that we ever will, so don't hold your breath waiting, like Jonah did.
2. Miserable people are usually miserable because of hurt. We probably all have a relative or community member like this. In the end, George scored way ahead of the game. He realized, more than ever before, that it really IS a wonderful life. He was surrounded by love and warm hugs. What did Mr. Potter have to keep him warm? His money?
3. We live in the world, but not of the world. In John 17:14-18 Jesus talks about this. My husband used to have a tee shirt with an ichthus (Jesus fish) in a fish bowl that said, "This world is not my home". Compared to what God has in store for us, we are limited to a novelty sized glass bowl for now. Keep your eyes on the prize: The Heavenly one. God allows us to be taken advantage of sometimes, but He will never do it Himself. Why? Because when we are stricken, we acknowledge our need for Him, and quite simply, we grow closer to Him. Besides, the treasures of this world will be gone someday, and Heavenly things last always. *And need I remind you that we will be so overwhelmed when are given those treasures in Heaven that we will all cast them at the feet of our Savior anyway.
And so, as I sit here smiling about how George Bailey's sudden misfortune brought him to more riches then he ever knew were possible, and how he finally realized that his life had immeasurable value, I say a prayer for the Mrs. Potter and her family back here in real life, and in the present day. I found an article online, and it turns out that the owner of the money was, in fact not named Mrs. Potter, but it is her daughter that is. Her mother was withdrawing the money to pay the nursing home bill of her husband after medicare benefits ran out. (Even more depressing, I know) I pray that God will bless her "exceedingly abundantly beyond all she can ask or think". Ephesians 3:20, because that is what a wonderful life is. Won't you please pray for her too?
Here is a link to the news story:
And for those of you who just want the added laugh of the classic SNL skit, where Mr. Potter DOES get it in the end, here's that too: