Film Friday: The Personal History of David Copperfield

When David Copperfield begins to tell his story on stage he comments ‘Whether I turn out to be the hero of my story or that station will be held by anyone else, these moments must show.’

Young Mr Copperfield, also known variously as Daisy, Trotwood, Davidson and other names, embarks on the tale of his life. A story of ups and downs, pain and triumph, love and loss, adventure and mishap. With a huge dose of humour. David  is on a search for his identity. And not one bestowed on him by others seeking in some way to box him in. Who is he? Only time and experience will tell. It takes a while, from the harsh life of a bottle factory, through success and ruin and back again. Each experience opening his eyes a little more.

In chapter 2 of the book of Revelation, John, writing to the church of Pergamum, assures those who are faithful that God has a new name for them, written on a white stone. (Verse 17) I believe this is an affirming name, uplifting them, bringing hope and strength. I sometimes talk about this in my sessions, and pray that if folks there need to hear from God about the way he sees them, they will. (I’m keen to add here – we are talking about something uplifting and caring, not burdensome or negative.) It is also a reminder that God knows us well and understands us, not boxing us in or trying to make us into something fake. I first heard Michael Mitton speak about this on a church weekend and as he was talking a name popped into my head Quiet Man. As someone who finds small talk and lots of encounters with others draining this was really encouraging, releasing too, and a reminder that God can use me with my mime and writing skills. It means a lot to me. When Israel talked of being forgotten by God, the prophet Isaiah assured them of this: ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.’ (Isaiah 49 v 15-16) In this age of much tattooing it may be helpful whenever you see a tattoo on someone (or on yourself) that your name is etched on God’s hands. Often in this life others forget us or overlook us. He knows and understands you and won’t ever forget you.

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