"Good" Nick Writing?

Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies ever. Robin Williams and Matt Damon both turn in beautiful portraits of broken people at different places on their journeys toward healing. When I watch this movie, I always think of one of Henri Nouwen’s books: The Wounded Healer. Just as God told Paul that in Paul’s weakness God’s healing power was made manifest, so it is true with all of us.

Recently, I’ve been meditating on John 20:19:23, as I wrestle with God to understand my identity and mission. I remember reading about the discipline of confession in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline a few years ago, and while the idea profoundly affected my thoughts, it hasn’t been until I began chewing on this passage that I began to wonder if Jesus really means what this passage says he means.

And then I thought of this scene, by far the most gut-wrenching scene in the movie for me. The language is unedited.

Will: [Sean is going through Will’s profile. Inside we see are pictures of Will after brutal assaults by his foster parents] You ever have any, uh, experience with that?
Sean: Twenty years of counseling, I’ve seen some pretty awful shit.
Will: No. I mean, have you ever had any experience with that?
Sean: Personally?

Will: Yeah.

Sean: Yeah I have.
[Sean looks away for a moment]
Will: I’m sure it ain’t good.
Sean: My father was an alcoholic. Mean fuckin’ drunk. He’d come home hammered, looking to whale on someone. So I had to provoke him, so he wouldn’t go after my mother and little brother. Interesting nights were when he wore his rings…
Will: He used to just put a wrench, a stick, and a belt on the kitchen table and say, “Choose.”
Sean: Well, I gotta go with the belt there, Vanna.
Will: I used to go with the wrench.
Sean: Why?
Will: Cause fuck him, that’ why.
Sean: Your foster father?
Will: Yeah.

Will: So what does it say? Will has an attachment disorder? Is is all that stuff? Fear of abandonment? Is that why I broke up with Skylar?
Sean: Didn’t know you had. Wanna talk about it?
[Will shakes his head, stares off]
Sean: Will, you see this, all this shit?
[Holds up the file, and drops it on his desk]
Sean: It’s not your fault.
Will: [Softly, still staring off] I know…
Sean: No you don’t. It’s not your fault.
Will: [Serious] I know.
Sean: No. Listen to me son. It’s not your fault.
Will: I know that.

Sean: It’s not your fault.

Will: I know that.
Sean: No you don’t. It’s not your fault.

[Will is silent, eyes closed]
Sean: It’s not your fault.
Will: [Will’s eyes open, misty already] Don’t fuck with me Sean. Not you.
Sean: It’s not your fault.
[Will shoves Sean back, and then, hands trembling, buries his face in his hands. Will begins sobbing. Sean puts his hands on Will’s shoulders, and Will grabs him and holds him close, crying]
Will: Oh my God! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry Sean!
[Will continues sobbing in Sean’s arms]

I’ve never been physically abused, thank God. But some of you have been ministers of grace to me as I’ve shared comparable aspects of my past.

I think I’m supposed to be looking out for the wounded hearts around me, and breathing God’s grace into their situations. But I am terrified! I’m a broken mess!

Does the terror ever go away? Or is the terror rising up in my throat part of the life to which I think I’m called?

in HIS love,



About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 30 July, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My dear brother, you are more equipped and ready to seek out wounded hearts more than you realize.It takes a broken heart to realistically help another broken heart. It is the life to which you are called!!

    Wrestling in prayer for you daily I am indeed……

  2. I know the feeling, my friend. In command, I always struggled with the idea of how I was supposed to lead people half again as old as me, with twice the experience. Nope, the terror never goes away – it just fades into the background, and you get better at hiding it. The fact that you’re conscious of it speaks well of you – self-awareness is the first step to mastery.

  3. I LOVE this movie and this scene. I also really loved what you said about being a broken mess. Our broken messes are the best places for the love and grace of Christ to shine. HE takes our broken pieaces and makes beautiful mosaics with them. I know that it’s common for folks to act like they have it all together, but Brokenness is what I long for.

  4. Brokenness is what we have. What I long for is belonging to a family unafraid of its brokenness…a family where brokenness can be confessed and embraced without fear… A family that believes that in our weakness, God’s strength is glorified… A family where false pride and pretending to “have it all together” do not crowd out the presence of God among us.

    All my readers should drop by http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com and read Bobby’s latest offering on inviting the presence of God.

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