In the last six months of her life Judy Garland, desperate for money and work, leaves the US and comes to London to sing at The Talk of the Town. The problem is she is addicted to alcohol and tablets. Her showbiz life has taken its toll and she is close to falling apart. However, she still lives for the thrill of performing on stage…
Some nights she goes down a storm and the audience loves her, but at other times she is too drunk to sing and is booed off stage. One night she even falls over at the microphone. Her experience making The Wizard of Oz at a young age has scarred her. Coerced and bullied by film maker Louis B Mayer all those years ago, she now finds herself caught between the longing for success and audience adulation, and the need to be loved and valued as a human being.
This summer I came across a phrase in Pete Greig’s book, Dirty Glory, which has stayed with me… It’s easy to try and fill the gap inside us with stuff that only makes the gap bigger. In some ways this film reminds me of the recent Elton John story, Rocket Man. Another story of fame and success only serving to deepen the longings inside. Judy here is suffering the same problem. The problem we all face if we’re honest. I was listening recently to a programme about the drug problem in the UK, and the simple question was asked, why do people get addicted. I have my own theory on this. It’s a design feature. We were designed to be that way. To not be able to get through the days and nights without our fix of God, without our connection to the one who made us and understands us. It’s so easy, whatever we believe, to keep trying to fill that need inside with stuff that only makes the longings greater. Whether it’s coffee, shopping, work, play, drink, money, sex, power, chocolate…. we can try and stuff all kinds of things into the gap inside, we all do it I guess, and I’m grateful for those reminders that nudge me to slow down and reconnect again with the one who made all these things in the first place.
This is so true Dave. I love the way you take examples from movie clips & make them into parables of our need for grace.
Great post Dave. I agree with Victoria’s comments. We need to connect the real world to the biblical story and you do that very well. Thanks again.