The Moral Lessons of Baby Jane


Sometimes cinema gets it right--more often in the past than in the present. I was writing this morning and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? happened to be the television. Whatever you may think of the movie, it is a powerful demonstration, in miniature, of what happens when we are determined to have our own way in things.

Every major character in this movie is manipulative. They push and attempt to control each other. Baby Jane has complete control over her sister Blanche who has manipulated the accident that confined her in a wheel chair--an attempt gone wrong to murder or injure Baby Jane, whose youthful success destroyed Blanche's childhood. Disagreement builds on disagreement, resentment on resentment. "Build on" is the wrong verb. "Erodes the foundation" is probably better.

The entire house of humanity is built on such sand--bitterness, resentment, revenge. We hold petty grudges and we allow them to simmer long enough to become obsessions and hallmarks of our lives. If we drop our masks of civility for a moment, we could not look in the mirror for the horrors we are.

Jesus Christ is the one way to root out these evils. There is no other way. We have the choice of lives that devolve into progressively more vile schemes of vengence and "getting mine back," or ascending with Jesus Christ as our help and mainstay. Most of us choose a path that alternates between these two strains--but how much better off we would be if we could clear our eyes and minds for just a moment and see where the one path leads. How much better if we would sense our own frustrations, aggravations, hurts, and pains, and give them over to our yoke-mate, the great Burden-bearer. Jesus died so that we would not have to carry these weights and so that others would not have to suffer because we were crushed to the ground under them. Wouldn't it be best if we would let Him do what He came to do, so that we would be free to be human?

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 18, 2002 8:36 AM.

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