Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Identifying with Lieutenant Dan

One of my favorite movie scenes is in Forrest Gump when Lieutenant Dan latches on to a ship's mast and curses God during a hurricane. You can hear years of pent up anger and disappointment spew from the lieutenant's heart as he screams, rants, challenges and defies God. It's understandable given the rotten hand life has dealt him: crippled, alone, jobless, hopeless and abandoned.

My favorite thing about this scene, though, is what doesn't happen. God doesn't strike Dan with a lightening bolt, nor does He shove Dan off the mast with a gust of wind. He doesn't respond with anger, impatience, fury or power. He simply waits and listens for Dan to finish, and then He brings calm to the storm.

I feel like I've been going through my own Lieutenant Dan battle: screaming at God, pushing Him away, questioning His character/words, crying with fury laced tears at His injustice and impotence. Secretly I think I expected Him finally to snap and push me away, too. But He didn't. I'm beginning to understand that His grace and mercy sometimes are greatest when He allows my storm to rage to a point of exhaustion before He brings His calm.

It's in that place of battle-weary surrender that I finally hear Him whisper to my soul: Even in this, will you trust me?

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