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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Grace and Forgiveness

In the movie “Rumor Has It”, the main character Sarah Huttinger has unsettling questions and doubts about who she is. She's searching answers for all her questions and also searching for something.

When Sarah asks her fiancé, Jeff, to be patient and give her space to find answers to all her questions. Jeff in fact encourages her to find herself and to get answers for all her questions. But Sarah's wandering heart leads her to California where she cheats on Jeff. She doesn't return after this incident and Jeff is worried. He calls repeatedly, but Sarah won't answer as she is shamed and afraid and, in some ways, ignoring him. As the story goes on, we see Sarah stays with her lover and attends a fancy ball with him—on the same night Jeff comes to find her. His heart is broken, and he's angry. But Jeff still forgives Sarah and takes her back.

As humans we make a lot of mistakes and there is always people who are willing to forgive us, but above all it is God who readily forgives us. When I saw this movie for the first time, I was a bit stunned to see that Jeff was willing to forgive Sarah and take her back. I thought he must be mad. However, throughout the movie Jeff continued to steadily and lovingly pursue Sarah when she was clearly not worthy of his love. That is when I realized that the passion driving Sarah's fiancé was forgiveness, not stupidity.

Jeff's unconditional love is similar to the story of Hosea (Hosea 1-3). God told him to marry a prostitute. Even though she cheated on him again and again, God told Hosea, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites" (Hosea 3:1, NIV).

This story helps us understand God's forgiveness and love. The Israelites kept turning their backs on him, but yet he would always take them back even though they didn't deserve another shot.

Our own hearts are always straying away from God at times, but God is eagerly waiting to love and forgive. His love is unconditional because true love "keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5, NIV).

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