‘I dreamt last night I went to Manderley again…’
When an unnamed lady’s companion meets rich aristocrat Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo, it’s not long before the two embark on a whirlwind romance and engagement. By the time Maxim returns to Manderley, his large country home, he is married to the second Mrs de Winter. The first of course was Rebecca, and she still casts a long and chilling shadow over the place. In this ill-advised moment below, Maxim’s new wife appears dressed as Rebecca, thinking he will appreciate the transformation.
The entire de Winter household is gripped by the past. And the new Mrs de W finds herself drawn into this captive situation. The spectre of Rebecca is there in everything and it seems that no one can move on. There is a telling moment when the blond second Mrs de Winter is brushing her hair, only to find dark brown hairs deep within the brush. The past can place its claws within us and steer our futures. It’s only when the truth surfaces that these people have a chance to break free.
So many of us get snarled up in the past. Perhaps we all do to a greater or lesser degree. We are shaped by our experiences. And not all of that shaping is bad of course. We learn so much from the good and bad moments. Jesus spoke of the way the truth can set us free. I guess many of us will spend much if not all of our lives working out how to benefit from that promise, what it means for the truth of Jesus to liberate us from that which holds us back, that which makes life difficult. The graffiti of the past gets etched on our hearts and it can take a series of miracles to wash it off. There will be breakthroughs. I’ve known them myself. But it can often feel like one step forward one step back. But we do have the good news of a God who understands our struggles, who’s been down to the depths and will never give up on us, never leave us or abandon us.