In 1984 Sally Field starred in a movie entitled Places in the Heart. It is set in the South during the Depression of the 30’s and is about a widow and three small children who struggle to survive raising cotton.
She becomes a widow when her husband is accidentally shot by a young black man who is lynched for the crime that wasn’t a crime. She’s left virtually penniless and is about to lose her home through foreclosure. Her only hope of keeping her life together is to make a decent cotton crop.
This is where Moses comes along. Moses is an unemployed black man who lends her his expertise about raising cotton, and helps her make the crop that saves her farm. Eventually, however, Moses is run out of town by the Klan because he’s seen as a little too shrewd in the eyes of the gin operator.
Other characters in the movie include a couple tragically torn apart by infidelity. The film ends in a strange way. A congregation is gathered for worship and the pastor has just finished reading 1 Cor. 13 on love. The bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper are being distributed to the people.
As the people take the bread and the cup, suddenly you become aware that this is no ordinary congregation. The camera zooms in and you see the widow, as well as Moses, who was run out of town.
The widow’s dead husband is also there, and so is the young black man who shot him accidently and was lynched for doing so. The banker who was about to foreclose on the farm is there, along with the operator of the cotton gin and members of the Klan. The couple is there whose marriage was torn apart, and there are also some black tenant farmers.
There has been a lot of bad stuff in all their lives, but there they are, worshipping together, sharing in the Lord’s Supper – as if to say that this is the place where healing and comfort can take place, the one place where there is room for everybody who will come by way of the cross, regardless of how great their sins may be.
This is the place where there is life, where we gather as a family together with Christ. We are all different. We have different problems, different needs, different likes and dislikes – but in the shadow of the cross of the Lord Jesus, we all stand on the same level ground, sanctified by His precious blood.
Special thanks to David E. Hall
Think of a time when YOU were at church and YOU felt the great diversity of the people around YOU, where there was room for all kinds of people who were not just like YOU.
THIS WORLD OFFERS YOU A LOT OF EMPTINESS. GOD OFFERS YOU A LOT OF PURPOSE!