“My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins…Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you (Psalm 25:15-18,20).”
Holly Golightly comes from tough circumstances, having run away from her home in Texas at the age of 14 with her brother Fred. In the Truman Capote work turned into the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, Holly (played memorably by Audrey Hebpburn) has become a New York socialite, trying to reach the pot of gold.
The hit song from the movie is “Moon River”. It tells what is in Holly’s heart:
“Moon River, wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you’re going I’m going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end–
waiting ’round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.”
Holly is after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and she uses men to get to it. She targets rich men, one a pudgy, rich American and another a handsome rich Brazilian.
Holly isn’t just any golddigger, however. She has a sense of responsibility for her brother Fred, who is getting out of the Army and needs support. Apparently Fred is something of a loser.
In the end, Holly’s hopes for security vanish. The American marries someone else and the Brazilian breaks up with her after she runs afoul of the law.
What is worse, she receives a telegram telling her that Fred is dead. All her efforts have been for naught anyhow. It appears the only friend she has is Moon River, which has led her down the wrong path.
Holly’s life is illustrative of the journeys of many of us. As Harvey Oslund, a Christian minister, used to say, we spend our lives climbing the rainbow looking going for the gold, slide down the other side into the pot, and find that it’s empty.
There is nothing in the pot but us. We’re alone and the hopes we had were false.
The Israelites coming out of Egypt had this experience. They thought they were on a roll. They had just been the objects of one of the great miracles of history: the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land and the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army.
Matthew Henry says the Israelites got so caught up in the success on the shores of the Red Sea that they wanted to park themselves there. God had other plans for them, however, and told Moses to move them on toward the land He had promised to them.
Shortly thereafter, the Israelites went into the desert and ran out of water. No problem. They found some, and must have been relieved and thought God had come through for them.
The water was foul, though, and the attitude of the Israelites became as bitter as the H20. They began to grumble against their leader Moses.
Moses cried out to God and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses must have thought, “Hey, whatever” and tossed it into the water, which became sweet when the wood made its splash (Exodus 15:22-25).
According to Henry, Jewish tradition says that the wood which made the waters of Marah sweet was itself bitter. It was symbolic of how the harsh sufferings of Jesus have altered our own afflictions in the Christian life.
Though we suffer bitter trials, we end up producing a pleasant fragrance. We mix our own sour circumstances with the the acrid experiences of Christ which came before and the result is sweetness.
Suffering is part of being a follower of Jesus. To come out smelling like a rose, we need to pursue God’s wisdom, His antidote to the pain, rather than empty things like money (Proverbs 8:10,11).
Holly Golightly hit bottom. But when she found herself in the empty pot of gold, there was someone there with her.
A man she had discarded for males with money was waiting for her. Paul loved her and was there to help her pick up the pieces.
Like Holly, we may have spent our lives going after all the wrong things, or expecting the next big score. Yet, all life has brought us is pain and loneliness.
Also like Holly, in the end we aren’t alone. Jesus is in the pot with us, ready to help us out of it and aid us in moving on with our lives, ready to take us to His promised land.