I love that Christmas movie. It is just hysterical to me! The youngest McCallister child Kevin is forgotten and left home all by himself while the entire family flies off to Paris for Christmas.
Now Kevin has a really creepy neighbor. Before the family leaves for Paris, Kevin’s older brother Buzz tells him that Old Man Marley has the nickname of “the South Bend Shovel Slayer” because he murdered his family and others who lived on the block with a shovel back in the 1950’s.
Well that’s enough to freak a kid out, I’m sure.
Fast forward in the movie, to Kevin walking into church all alone on Christmas Eve. He is approached by Old Man Marley who scares him to death – at first. But the more they talk, the more Kevin understands that Marley isn’t a murderer at all. Marley has been carrying around the burden of a broken relationship with him for years, and has never talked about it with anyone.
Until that night in church.
Young Kevin is able to provide child-like wisdom to Old Man Marley, and at the end of the movie we see the result – a restored relationship between father and son.
Everyone struggles with something at some time. It’s the world, people – a fallen, broken creation. So it ain’t gonna be fine all the time. In fact, we will encounter many struggles along the way. And on the one hand we judge others for secrets we know nothing about, while on the other hand we feel like we can’t let our own little struggle secret out, for fear of what others will think.
The one thing that has help me the most is being a part of a small group (that’s what my church uses to get our super large membership down to a smaller more personal level) where you can just blurt out whatever is on your heart – you hate your job, you are struggling in your marriage, your children are making really stupid choices, you are jealous of your neighbor’s life – whatever it is and people get it because they, too are struggling with something. They get it, and they pray about it.
NO ONE has it all together. (Not totally, anyway.) NO ONE gets to skip around the playing board of life and miss all the bad squares. NO ONE should be judged for secrets we know nothing about. And NO ONE was meant to carry life’s burdens alone, either.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)
You don’t have to be in an official small group to make this happen. I go to lunch every few weeks with a couple of friends and it is just awesome to lay out on the table whatever is going on, trust them to listen and pray about it. It’s comforting to know someone else sharing your burdens. Old Man Marley found comfort in Kevin’s simple words, and they were enough to start the healing process in Marley’s life.
So don’t walk alone as though your life is perfect if you are carrying a heavy burden. Find that person or group you can trust, share your struggles and pray over them. We can all learn a very important lesson from Kevin and Old Man Marley today.
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