The 2012 film October Baby tells the powerful and deeply moving story of a young college student (Hannah) who discovers that she was adopted as a baby. Shocked by the news, she searches out her birth mother.
Along the way, Hannah finds out that she survived a failed abortion. Her mother had tried to abort the pregnancy at twenty weeks, unsuccessfully. And there’s a hint that this undergirds the unexplained feeling of abandonment Hannah has battled during her teen years.
Finally, in a moment of high drama, Hannah visits her birth mother—only to be rejected again. Her birth mom wants nothing to do with her. Fear and shame consume the mother. She can’t look Hannah in the eye, and walks away.
In the quiet of a nearby cathedral, sitting alone in a pew, Hannah meets a priest who listens to her self-hate and her rage. And, in a moment of great poignancy, he tenderly tells Hannah that she will not find peace in a birth certificate nor even in a cathedral, but only in Christ. He encourages her to forgive others “just as God, through Christ, forgives you.”
The end of the film speaks to the power of forgiveness, as Hannah, her birth mom, and her adoptive parents all grapple with their deep-seated needs to forgive and be forgiven.
This Lent, does the end of each day speak to the power of forgiveness in our own lives?
Lord Jesus, may Your forgiveness flow to me and through me today. Keep from the evil of judgment and bitterness. Use me as a vessel for renewal, restoration, and reconciliation. Amen.