Sunday, December 21, 2014

a wonderful life

Mr. Potter: Have you put any real pressure on these people of yours to pay those mortgages?
Peter Bailey: Times are bad Mr. Potter. A lot of these people are out of work.
Mr. Potter: Well, then foreclose.
Peter Bailey: I can't do that. These families have children.
Mr. Potter: They're not my children.
Peter Bailey: But they're somebody's children, Mr. Potter.

Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life existed nearly 40 years before someone helped me discover it. Even now, after embracing this film through nearly three decades of Christmases, there are fresh tears.

I am struck by the cruel words revealing the hardened heart of Mr. Potter and moved by the truth Peter Bailey speaks.

Yes. These children are somebody's children.

Perhaps it is witnessing the struggle of families visiting our local food pantry. Times are bad. A lot of good people are out of work.

Perhaps it is the whispered hope of the young woman recently conversing with me in a strip club. She stood a little taller as she told me about making really good money - $100 in one night. My heart ached. $100 isn't anywhere near fair and equitable compensation for the work she's expected to do. What haunts me this morning is the change in her posture. She seemed to be celebrating a windfall while simultaneously bracing for a fight.

She was expecting Mr. Potter in me.

I hope what she found was Peter Bailey.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. - Colossians 4:6 NIV
the welcome home blessing from It's A Wonderful Life:

Bread - that this house may never know hunger
Salt - that life may always have flavor and
Wine - that joy and prosperity may reign forever

Mary Bailey, George Bailey


photo source: wikimedia

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