On Friday night, I saw the movie, “Toy Story 4.”Not the ending I expected, but I will not give anything away.
What struck me from the very beginning was the relationship between Forky and Woody. You see, Forky was made in school from items found disregarded in the trash – a spork, some pipe cleaners, mismatched eyes, a popsicle stick. Forky spends most of the movie trying to return to the trash because the world scares him, he finds comfort in what he knows, and where he believes he belongs. Forky, over and over, says, “I’m not a toy! I’m litter! Aaah!” Running off, he dives into the garbage. Another time, “I was made for soup, salad, maybe chili, and then the trash.” And off he runs, jumping into the nearest trash can.
Woody keeps fishing him out of garage cans, encouraging him to see his value – that he is now special. Woody never gives up. Just like Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he consistently and continually picks Forky up.
It made me think about my relationship with God.
Forky asks questions like, “Why am I alive?” Profound. I ask myself the same thing. Psalm 139: 14 reminds us, “ I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Bonnie (the little girl in the movie) made Forky proudly and he held immense value to her, regardless of what materials were used, and how he looked. I know God created you and me for a unique purpose and we need to continually look for our opportunities to be God’s light. But so often, my inner voice, like Forky’s, says, “You are trash.” Forky believes his life’s responsibility is to be used and thrown away. A Pixar cartoon, being watched in a theatre full of toddlers, should not hit this close to home?!
The whole movie explores purpose, what we are created for, and how that changes. The majority of the world will not find God speaking through the voice of Sheriff Woody, but I believe some will. Determined as Woody is to help Forky, he struggles himself with not being the most favorite toy anymore. In fact, he is not important to Bonnie anymore and collects his first dust bunny from non-use. Going further into this part of story will give away too much, but a dear friend ultimately tells Woody, “Be who you are right now.”
We may feel like trash, but God does not see us that way. Our relationships with people may change, but that does not change how God sees us. God will continue to pick me out of the trash, no matter what I think of myself. No matter how we were created, no matter how we look, no matter where we come from, no matter what we have been through…His love is truly unconditional. We all have purpose; we all have value. But, like the relationship with Woody and Forky, maybe we all need someone to remind us – like when God reminded me the other night in a kid’s movie about a spork. I just pray God remains as patient as Woody was, and continues to look for me when I question, fear, and hide.
Sheila Hellermann is a member of St. Rose of Lima Church in St. Rosa. She works at St. John’s University as a program and department coordinator for several academic departments.
This is a fantastic analogy. I cannot wait to watch it for the second time after reading this. ❤️Reply