Tag Archives: truth

Saving Mr. Banks…and Mrs. Jones

Last night I watched Saving Mr. Banks. It is a touching film about Walt Disney’s persistence to purchase the rights to P.L. Travers’ book so he could produce the movie Mary Poppins. It’s been so long since I’ve seen Mary Poppins that I don’t recall the whole plot, but from what I remember Ms. Poppins was quite the relief from what the children were used to. In the movie Saving Mr. Banks you get a new perspective of what the story of Mary Poppins is really about. The true story really isn’t close to what Disney brought to the big screen. Disney brought the ending that every child dreams to have, an ending of love and reconciliation.

The reality is that many of us don’t reconcile with our parents the hurts of our childhood. We don’t have a magical nanny to come rescue us and bring unity back into our broken, dysfunctional families. As I watched Saving Mr. Banks I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I have a tremendously dysfunctional family? We’ve all done and said things to hurt one another and yet we still spend time together, call each other often, etc. Why didn’t I need a Mary Poppins when my childhood had its rough times as well?’ We all need a Mary Poppins sometime in our lives. The answer is that my Mary Poppins was more magical and mysterious, more fun and exciting, more supercalifragilisticexpialidocious than Ms. Poppins could ever be because my rescuer, my protector, my encourager was Jesus Christ.

Fortunately my mom talked to me about God when I was a kid, even before we started going to church or calling ourselves Christians. Later on we went to church where I learned a lot about Jesus and all his power and might. I learned from a very young age that God was the place to run when I was scared, whether I was scared of the dark or scared of how things were going. He was always faithful.

So while it’s cute and fun to believe in this magical singing nanny, Ms. Poppins is a far cry from our true Savior. I don’t want to ignore, however, that God uses people like nannies or friends or strangers or pastors to speak truth and life into us, but I just want to point out that without Jesus our human strength falls short of the redemption and deliverance we all yearn for. I know you yearn for it too because you were born to yearn for Him. So while Mary Poppins saves Mr. Banks, Jesus saves all who believe.Image


Shame and guilt. Most likely, we have all experienced it. There is such thing as good shame and guilt, the kind that tells us not to do something that is bad for us, a conscience, if you will. And while good shame exists, I’m going to address the ugly shame and guilt that can linger for years if not treated by our Purifier.

This evening as I ran my bath I thought about purity. When I think of the word I think of something new, something just out of the packaging, unmarred, clean, fresh, a car with that new car smell. Those things are pure. While we are able to wash most things and bring them almost back to their pure status, do we ever consider purifying ourselves? Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the pain of our guilt and shame that we forget there is a way to not only bring ourselves almost back to pure status, but all the way back to pure status. We are not like the pure white snow that gets trampled and driven on, never to be clean again.

In Marilyn Hontz’s book Shame Lifter she describes toxic shame and how we can purify ourselves.

Shame likes to cover God’s truth with a wet, heavy blanket. It threatens to snuff out life. How was I going to throw back that wet, suffucating blanket? Only by believing and applying God’s truth.

In 1 John 1:9 apostle John writes “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It doesn’t say that he will think about forgiving us or he will hold a grudge against us. No. It says he will forgive us. His forgiveness is guaranteed. To feel toxic shame is to let the guilt of wrongdoing penetrate into your identity. Hontz describes it as letting the external become part of the internal. And as she said in the above quote, we can only be freed by believing and applying God’s truth.

In his book Mr. Jones Meet the Master the late Peter Marshall a Scottish preacher and former chaplain of the United States Senate references this quote from The Historic Jesus: Facts or Fancies:

Christ has suffered for our sins. He has paid the penalty for us, so that there is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. He has, with His own blood, written “Paid” across the ledgers of Heaven.

Jesus’ blood shed for the atonement of our sins is more than enough to cleanse us of our wrongdoing, no matter how big or how little. To hold onto toxic shame is to deny this fact.

To get you started freeing yourself from toxic shame listen to the promise in this song by Big Daddy Weave and meditate on the truth it tells.