a story of love and acceptance

Several years ago, while flipping through TV channels, I came upon the original Frankenstein movie. I had never saw It before. As a kid, I believed the movie was a horror movie. It is far from it. It teaches about acceptance, compassion, love and community. You might say this is another form of The Rabbi's Gift

I want to relate one scene that is about 2/3rds into the movie.

THE SETTING: Frankenstein has just been attacked by a mob that believes he is killing people in their village. (it’s another person) Frankenstein has just escaped the mob and being burned to death. He is now wandering through the dark woods and he is in shock. He comes upon a hermits hut in the woods.

Violin music is coming from the window and Frankenstein moves toward it, being careful not to be seen. He settles in near a window to listen as the music soothes him and it’s the first time you see a slight smile on his face. He then approaches the door. The hermit hears him and asks him to come in. Frankenstein is scared to enter and stops at the door. The hermit slowly moves closer. He is dressed like a monk.

The hermit speaks: “Please come in my fair man. Be my guest and have some bread and wine.”

Frankenstein: “Grunt” in a painfully way.

Hermit: “Oh, it sounds like you have been hurt. Let me see.” He moves closer to Frankenstein and somehow Frankenstein knows the hermit will not hurt him. The hermit slowly reaches out his hand to touch Frankenstein and feels some of the scars on his arm.

Hermit: “You must come in and set and let me help you. You have been hurt. Please come in.” Frankenstein moves into the house and sits in a chair. The hermit asks him questions, but all Frankenstein can do is grunt.

Hermit: “Oh, you can not speak. Well I am blind and I can not see you. Put you arm on my shoulder if you understand me.” Frankenstein puts his hand on the hermits shoulder and you see a smile from the hermit. The hermit mutters to himself, “Oh thank you God, you have just sent me a friend – Oh I have been so lonely living here by my self.”

Hermit: “Come to my table and have food and wine.” The hermit pours a bowl of soup that Frankenstein quickly consumes. Then the hermit offers a glass of wine and Frankenstein quickly drinks it.

The hermit says: “Soup good. Wine good. Smoke good”, as he lights a cigar. Frankenstein attempts to say “good” and smiles again. The hermit teaches Frankenstein to smoke a cigar and keeps saying “Good”.

They continue to enjoy each others company drinking wine and eating bread and smoking. The hermit goes over to Frankenstein and embraces him and rubs his the scars on his arm and then prays to God, “Thank you for sending me this new friend. Thank you lord.” The hermit cries tears of joy and then you see a tear roll down the cheek of Frankenstein and he again smiles with contentment. He is feeling unconditional love for the first time in his short life.

Then Frankenstein picks up the violin and hands it to the hermit: “grunt grunt –goooood, music gooood.”

The hermit takes the violin and begins to play. Frankenstein lays back with cigar in hand and with another glass of wine and he feels accepted in his enjoyment of the hermits music. It is a beautiful scene.

End of scene.

What is the lesson in this for all of us? How many “monsters” do we have in our lives that may just be very different people just seeking to be understood and loved and accepted? Sometimes people change and become perceived as “monsters” through illness or the aging process and they are not understood because they have become different than WE want them to be. They too need love and understanding as long as they live. Others sometimes act one way when they are actually very different on the inside but no one has bothered to know them. How can you reach out to such persons?

                                                            written by Jerry Hampton
November 25, 2000

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