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Reflection Day 13: Glen Boyer

Is there a piece of music, art or film where you see or experience God? Have you ever shared that fact with anyone?

By Glen Boyer

God’s presence is found throughout my favorite movie “The Shawshank Redemption”. The movie’s overarching theme is one of hope. The movie is set inside Shawshank Prison—an institution filled with men—(many quite evil) all with dull eyes—where endless time has eaten away their souls, spirit and hope. Enter Andy Dufresne, a soft spoken banker who is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and her lover.

Andy retains his hope throughout his 20 year stay inside Shawshank. I found Andy’s hope built on the foundational presence of God. God’s Hope (through Andy) is a positive contagion as it spreads to many inmates. Likewise, others have often strengthened my faith when they shared God’s Hope. I pray that as a servant of Jesus, I too, have fortified others with God’s Hope. We may all at times in our lives face metaphorical doom—(a Jonah in the beast’s belly experience) whether we deal with a medical diagnosis—or just show wear from the daily grind of work, family and life. God’s Hope carries Andy and us through these dark times.

When Andy proclaims “hope never dies” I know he describe the presence of God’s Hope. Faith may occasionally flicker and grow faint but it can also remain as steady as Andy’s—or even burn so bright that it sets you afire.

Spoiler alert: eventually Andy escapes from Shawshank Prison-- God’s hope intact. He finds redemption, (God’s redemption)—in one of the most unique baptismal-like scenes found anywhere in art.

I’ve often discussed with friends about the theological and sociological messages of the Shawshank Redemption. While we occasionally disagreed on some finer points we all recommend that you should see the movie once or 20 times. I attribute the movie’s most famous quote not to it’s author Stephen King, but to God: “Get busy living or get busy dying”. God’s Hopeful presence get’s us busy living. Amen.

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