April 05, 2009
Transsiberian and Sin and Forgiveness
Today at my church service, the sermon was about forgiveness. How can we be forgiven of sins, and what is the proper response once we have been forgiven? This is an appropriate topic since I have recently been released from a bondage that has has held me down for more years that I care to share. As the preacher was talking, I was thinking about the movie Transsiberian. It's such a perfect picture of what sin does to your life and to others around you. It's also a perfect example of someone who doesn't understand the freedom that forgiveness can bring. The result is tragedy and a life of murky grays. There is no end. No freedom.
This writing will contains spoilers. In this film, a woman who we know has a wild past has married a really nice guy. This man is the type that participates in charity work and is genuinely likable. What we understand about Jessie (this is never spelled out) is that she married Roy and has tried to be a different person. She helps with the missionary work. She smiles and tries to play the saintly wife. But inside she still feels like the same wild, tainted woman.
On board the train, they meet a younger couple. Jessie takes a special interest in them. For the girl, she feels a protectiveness. She sees herself when she was younger. For the guy, she feels a strong attraction. He is the type of guy she would have been all over when she was younger. She is attracted by this couple. But she also wants them to go away because they are painful reminders of the kind of past she is running from. She is desperate to keep this side of herself from Roy. Outwardly, she might be turning over a new leaf, but inwardly she still feels black and no good.
Then she is put into a situation where she reacts just like her natural self. Insert any sin you like in here, but Jessie makes a mistake. And she reacts just like we expect her to. First she tries to hide it and act like nothing happened. Then she lies. She lies to her husband. She lies to the authorities. Someone else is hurt for her crimes, and she still lies to protect herself. Only when her husband is passed out cold and will never know does she scream the truth to the man who has been chasing her.
She gets several chances to come clean to her husband but she never does. She doesn't think he can forgive her. Or maybe she doesn't think she's worthy of being forgiven. Jessie doesn't understand what unconditional love means. Inside she just has guilt. She tries to make payment in the only way she can towards a woman whom she has harmed. But this won't be enough to ever erase what she has done. And she will never be free of this since she has assimilated it into her insides. I feel sorry for her and am convinced this character will lead a life of misery. She can try to make her husband happy, but a miserable person will only be able to bring misery to others.
Forgiveness means coming clean and then knowing that your beloved still loves you anyway. It means accepting their forgiveness and shedding light on the things of the past. This is the only way you can be free.