The Truman Show

Mahalo for coming back! I am thrilled you are here, and I want to speak peace to your storms in the name of Jesus!

Today, it was so strong on my heart to write about addictions. I use the Evernote app to collect topics for my blog seed garden, and “The Truman Show” was one of the seeds God planted there and I believe He will use for His glory and purposes.

With a show of hands (I’m raising mine!), who here knows how Satan has infiltrated Hollywood as a whole? I am not making a blanket statement and saying it’s ALL going to hell, but a lot of it is. So much of the multibillion dollar content is completely void of anything that looks like heaven on Earth. Would you agree? The kicker for Satan is (and he knows this) that God uses ALL things for His glory and works through things that would even seem like a lost cause. Because Hollywood and the people and the various land everything is filmed/created on wouldn’t even exist without Him. He allows Satan to be prince of the Earth and for anyone who chooses to align with hell to do so. God never stops working, however, and that does even include Hollywood.

I’ve recently been on a 90’s movie kick! I want to introduce my girls to some of the incredible “classics”. Hahaha! I guess to kids their age, they are considered classics. I have a working list of movies we want to watch with them and enjoy ourselves. The Truman Show was up last week, and they were absolutely smitten with good ‘ol 90’s acting and cinematography. It was great. We’ve watched several other movies too, and there’s more God is revealing!

For this particular post, I want to bring a very tangible example of how addiction presents itself. It was out of left field for me as well, so just stick with me here. After you read this, I would encourage you to go back and watch the movie with eyes to see and ears to hear HOPE and a FUTURE for you or a loved one or someone who you care about. Even if it’s someone in the streets or the store you’ve never met. Some hide their addictions well and some not so much. Pray shalom over everyone.

Breaking down the characters in the movie, it will be easier to see how each one presents a part in this analogy.

Truman Burbank is the main character. He was selected as one out of five unwanted pregnancies by Christof, the producer of The Truman Show. Truman was placed in a massive dome that was specifically built for this show. It has a sky, roads, buildings, bodies of water, trees and so on. It appears like a normal town. The town as Truman knows it is called Seahaven. He has a home, a wife, job, car and all the things anyone could need to be happy and live a normal life. He was raised there since he was born, and has never known anything different. He had parents, schoolmates, friends. All of these people are paid actors, and Truman has no idea he’s the star of the world’s most popular TV show. He’s on camera 24/7, and unbeknownst to him, he’s the world’s celebrity.

Christof is the mastermind behind this sick idea. He grew famously popular because of this show, but cares only about one thing: To keep Truman in the dome. There’s a scene where the camera is on Truman’s face, and Christof seems to “tenderly” put his hand on the screen as he watches him sleep. So creepy for real!

Lauren Garland also starts off as a paid actress working in the dome, Seahaven. She was placed there along with everyone else. What makes her stand out is she started to see immediately how sick and twisted this all was, and she started to attempt to tell Truman the truth. Seeing as every area of Seahaven are on audio/video cameras at all times, she could only get the message about the truth to him in pieces. Christof started catching on to this and saw how it would drive Truman to the truth of his life, and she was removed from the show and fired. During the movie, you will see Truman cutting out pictures in magazines of women’s faces. He was trying to piece together what she looked like, because her face was fading. There’s even a line by some of the show’s employees that, “We removed her and everything about her, but we can’t erase her from his memory.” Lauren goes on after she’s ousted from the show to protest and to speak on Truman’s behalf. The rest of the world doesn’t seem to care. They are absolutely enamored with the show and literally glued to their TVs. There are some who sneak into the dome and yell “You’re on TV, Truman!”, but Truman never understood. Lauren is the only one who never stops hoping and believing that Truman will one day find out what the truth is and leave the dome for a full and honest life.

Christof drove fear into him at an early age. He did this so when Truman got older, he would be afraid of adventure and wouldn’t find the dome’s edges and therefore the truth. Truman had a fascination with adventure, but was shot down by the actors in the dome — like his elementary school teacher, his “wife” even. He was being lied to at every turn. Christof also ousted Truman’s “dad”, because he started to grow sympathy for Truman. He was getting dangerously close to revealing the truth, and Christof knew if they didn’t get him off the show he would ruin it. So they faked his paid actor dad’s death at sea. Truman was a boy and in the boat when his dad fell into the water and drowned — all an act. This caused Truman to be terrified of the water, and that worked well for Christof’s purposes for his show.

Truman started to notice oddities about his life, and started to search for the truth. All while trying to piece together Lauren’s face with shreds of magazine pictures. Eventually, he knows. He doesn’t know how or why, but he KNOWS. Lauren watches him on live TV with tears and prayers for him. Christof and his army of employees start to throw everything in their power to stop him from leaving the dome or finding the edges. Truman even gets on a sailboat and starts to sail to wherever the boat takes him. He’s confused, exhausted, angry. Christof sees Truman is braving the waters for the first time, and starts to create waves, wind and rain on the water with the dome’s technology. He was trying to simulate a storm, like the one when Truman’s dad “dies”. This doesn’t stop Truman though. He’s whipped around, thrown into the wind and water as he holds on for dear life through his fear of the unknown. Even some of the show’s employees were gathering sympathy for him, and the whole world watched as Truman knocked on death’s door as he was submerged underwater. Christof tells the dome technicians to back off the storm controls and to bring the sun back out.

This moment in the movie is absolutely astounding! Especially when you watch it through fresh eyes of truth and how God can speak through even Hollywood. The sailboat’s bow eventually pierces the side of the dome. Naturally, Truman is baffled. He’s also satisfied that his searching wasn’t in vain, and he starts to see the full picture of his life in the sky blue sides of his cage. Seeing his enclosure for what it was is a monumental part of this movie! Christof, recognizing his time is short and his life’s work is about to go down, gets on a microphone and speaks to Truman from the fake clouds of the dome. He starts speaking to Truman. He does tell him he’s the producer of this show, and what it supposedly means to the world. Truman talks to him too, but keeps searching for the way out. He sees stairs, and walks up to where he sees a door that says “Exit”. A scene with a hopeful, tearful Lauren with her hands folded and over her mouth in what looks prayer comes on and she is saying “Go, Truman! Come out!”

Truman looks up into the fake clouds and says to Christof, “In case I don’t see you — Good Morning! Good Afternoon! And GOODNIGHT.” He walks through the door, out of his cage. Lauren rejoices, and others viewers do too. Some are sad that the show is coming to an end, but some don’t even care and immediately look for something else on TV. Christof takes his headset off, the one he used for giving commands for actor’ words, placement, etc. He’s done. Truman has walked away from his pseudo life, and there is nothing Christof can do about it.

I know you probably know where this is going at this point, and the correlation between a movie and what addiction looks like. Addiction of any kind, you name one. They all under the same hellish spirit of hopelessness through control. Lies. Deceit. Satan, represented by Christof, has always wanted to play God. He was removed from heaven for thinking He could be equal or above his creator. He also plays “god” in the lives of millions, if not billions of people. Addiction can look like many things, affects people in many ways and also affects those around a person who struggles with addiction in various ways. The truth, however, is that no matter how dire, hopeless, hellish, exhausting, urgent and devastating lives many look due to addiction — there is always a way out. There’s always a door that says “Exit”. It’s scary though, and that’s an understatement. Someone may be afraid to lose everything they have if they told someone about their struggle, and some people struggle out in the open and are begging for freedom. Jesus is that door. I am aware that those words “Jesus is the door” can sound like a broken record for someone struggling or someone who walks with someone who struggles. This is a lie from Satan, much like how Christof tried everything in his power to stop Truman from finding the door. The fact is, there is ALWAYS a door.

In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” He wouldn’t have said these things and it be empty promises. He is incapable of lying, because lies are from hell. So, this only shows us that these words are TRUE and powerful and full of life! Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of giving us a hope and a future. Many times this hope and this future look nothing like what we think – but it’s perfect for us, a gift from a Perfect, Sovereign God through His Son Jesus.

Now, who knows what Truman’s life looked like after he chose to exit his cage. In good movie writing, it leaves it up to the viewer to think about. He definitely had struggles when he got to the other side of the dome. The world can be a frightening place full of mystery and questioning. The truth is, though, is that him leaving that dome was real. When people walk away from their addictions, that is real. If people choose to go back to their vices, it doesn’t void the fact that that moment was very real when they walked away from the things they’re enslaved to. It is a process of falling down and getting back up. In my mind’s eye, I like to think of Lauren, his true friend, walking beside him as he learns how to live fully in the truth he never knew existed. That’s why recovery can be such a process! It’s like a little one learning to walk. Eventually with the steadfast love of God the Father and those people who are put in the lives of those who need them — they learn to run! To race! To WIN! That’s life abundantly overflowing, just like God promises. He’s the Great Redeemer of ALL things!

The best thing to do is to put aside our preconceived notions of what this process will look like. I can guarantee you it will look like night and day from what our finite minds can see. There is nothing to fear but everything to gain when seeing addiction for what it is. No matter what kind of addiction it is, it shrivels up and dies in the light of the Father.

I am speaking PEACE and SHALOM to you! Shalom means not just “peace”, but that all the pieces of one’s life are brought back together in the hands of the Master Designer of life. God did, after all, create it. And He loves it. He loves you and He’s beckoning to you or someone you know to knock at the door. It will open!

Love you all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s