“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ongoing analysis of the beautiful film, “Johnny Lingo”

Moki―“He (Johnny Lingo) will get a bargain! He wants a woman to mend his roof, to fix his supper, and doesn’t want to pay more than a three-legged cow for her!”
Moki judges Johnny to have the exact character traits of himself. Moki grumbles and drives Mahana to mend Moki’s roof and milk his cow, and he projects that onto Johnny.
And Mahana believes her father as she overhears his assessment of Johnny. When she thinks of Johnny’s price of a three-legged cow and its reflection on her, she sinks lower in self-worth. Depression settles in while she can’t avoid her father’s constant berating. “You don’t know what it means to have a homely daughter, Mahi.”

Johnny― “It will be remembered that Johnny Lingo paid eight cows for Mahana.”
Johnny’s mindset and way of thinking is far from Mr. Harris’. Mr. Harris thinks Johnny is being vain, only thinking of himself and how he will look to his friends. He even gives Johnny a slight rebuke for it. But, Mr. Harris has completely misjudged Johnny and his motives, believing that Johnny only wants to be seen as a great and powerful man. However, Johnny is thinking of Mahana and how she will appear in the eyes of every other woman on the island. Johnny is building Mahana into a queen; but Mr. Harris thinks Johnny is building himself into a king.
Has Jesus made great claims of Himself? I am the bread of life…I am the light of the world… I am the good shepherd…. “Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36). Are we put off by what sounds like self-exaltation? In reality His high claims were not for glorifying Himself, but for strengthening our ability to put our trust in Him.

Mahana―“Did you hear them? They laughed. They mocked me.” “He mocked me. You will see. He will not come.” Mahana is not without flaws. She is self-centered and self-pitying, even combative. Those evil traits need to be, and will be, driven from her under the warmth of Johnny’s constant, strong love for her. She has been harassed by her father and everyone else on the island because she partly deserved it. But, she is also open to be loved; and that is her salvation. More than any of the other girls on the island, none more than Mahana had been especially sensitive to love, and also to the lack of receiving it. In all the confusion from inter-personal conflicts arising from Mahana’s and the island people’s character failings, Johnny sees a clear direction for the solution. He has the correct big picture because his heart is filled with love of life, love for others, and especially love for Mahana. He can overlook her flaws because he is confident in his ardor for her and confident that the little, loving girl from the past is still alive in the woman of the present.

This is the exact condition of the church and Jesus’ gentle treatment for our sinful, debilitating self-centeredness.

Johnny Lingo can be fun and joyful, but he can also be serious. In all that he did, it was for the glory of God and the salvation of Mahana. He wouldn’t have been able to convince Mahana to join him in marriage if he had been laughing when he consummated his invitation by extending his hand to her. He was as serious then as the day he bargained eight cows for her. If Johnny had not been serious after delivering the cows, Mahana would have thought he was mocking her ugliness and foolishness, just like everyone else. She would have run from him.

Even at the wedding reception she truly can’t believe that Johnny thinks she is beautiful. She turns away when he puts a flower in her hair. Not an iota of humor escapes Johnny’s communications with her. She is fragile and he treats her with great care.

Cruel boys come up from behind Johnny and Mahana.
“Johnny Lingo had a cow, traded for an ugly wife.
Johnny Lingo married now, he’ll be sorry all his life.”
They sing their jingle and run away while Johnny angrily puts the fear of God in them. But, the damage is done. Mahana is double confirmed in the reality of her unacceptable ugliness in the eyes of the people, which she has lived with all her life.

Johnny―“Don’t cry Mahana.
Mahana―“It’s true! (I am an ugly wife!)”

But Mahana trusts in her husband. No one else treats her tenderly. So must Christs church trust her Lord that she is the dearly beloved of His soul, when the world hates her and says all manner of evil against her falsely.

When Mr. Harris arrives to congratulate the newlyweds, he first sees Moki, who reminds Mr. Harris that he is a rich man. Now that he can have a taste of the good life, he is glad to have Mahana for a daughter. When he directs Mr. Harris to the wedding party, behind him in the dark, he refers to his daughter—for the first and last time—as “my Mahana”. But that title, “my Mahana”, Johnny uses many times until she is confirmed in his love for her. 

Satan has hated and berated the church, but Jesus keeps sending us His message of His loving-kindness and tender mercies. He calls us “the desire of [Mine] eyes” (Eze. 24:16), and “the dearly beloved of My soul” (Jer. 12:7).

Mr. Harris—“How do you like that, Tulo?” [He refers to Johnny’s expensive mirror.]
Tulo—“It’s beautiful. Mahana’s face will crack the glass!”
Tulo’s constant degrading and heckling Mahana and his instigating others in the same creates a character that sits counter to the noble actions and words and love of Johnny. There needs to be a character who works and speaks oppositely from Johnny’s ways and words. This accents the goodness and love of the main character (Johnny Lingo). The same has happened in the great controversy between Christ and Satan. God has allowed the continued harassment of Satan, the accuser of the brethren, so that we can see more vividly the love of Jesus our Comforter, our Shield and our everlasting Reward.

As the new Mahana carries out Johnny’s request for water, she is happy as long as she keeps her eyes and mind on Johnny. She is happy because she is owned by someone who only loves her and she has come to know that he will always treat her with dignity. The souls who make up the church will find the same staying power in the love that Jesus has for them. They can forget the depressing, harsh looks and words of the world when they see and hear the words of Jesus their Lord. “Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence.” Desire of Ages, p. 331.

Their sights are on Jesus, who has proven Himself to be faithful. No more dependence on the world and its desolating assessments of them. Jesus will speak the truth and correct the dearly beloved members of His church, but He will never correct them carelessly, as the world does. He is the truth; but He is also the grace. This is because He is full of grace and truth. It is because He comes with the holiness of the God of love.


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