Throwing Rocks at Empty Houses

“Forrest Gump” is probably one of the biggest cultural phenomenons to emerge from Hollywood in the nineties. The line, “Run, Forrest, Run,” quickly became a pop culture go-to phrase whenever someone was, well, running. That particular scene where Forrest is running down the dirt road as his braces fall from his legs is one of the most popular scenes from the movie.

Yet, it’s not the scene I think of first.

Instead, I see Forrest’s beloved Jenny. She’s throwing rocks at her childhood home until her anger and grief propel her to the ground. As Jenny collapses in emotional exhaustion, Forrest poignantly states, “Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.”

Jenny threw rocks at the now empty house where she had been abused as a child. Forrest nailed it. No amount of rocks would ever do.

In my latest story, Seventy Times Seven, my character Tara is much like Jenny. She also returns to an empty house. But in Tara’s scene, it isn’t the house where she was abused. It is the house where she experienced fond memories. It is the house where the people in it ignored what went on in her own house. Like Jenny, she sits down in that now empty house, expelling some of the anger and grief, yet finding no comfort in the process.

Anger cannot dispel pain. It magnifies it. Using anger as a method of healing is like throwing rocks at an empty house.

There were some men in the Bible that wanted to throw rocks at an adulterous woman. Jesus stopped them. I often wonder if those men saw their own sin reflected in that woman. Perhaps Jesus even wrote their vile acts in the sand. The evidence of their hypocrisy. Their pain disguised as pride. They, too, would have been throwing rocks at an empty house ( John 8:1-11).

Whether it’s guilt or shame from our own sins, or from sins placed upon us by another, there will never be enough rocks to eradicate that pain. But there is enough mercy and grace. It only takes one moment of surrender to embrace healing.

I choose to put down my own rocks and cease the futile attempt of healing with empty measures.

My character Tara does, too. You can read her story here:

Can you think of a time when you have put down your own rocks? If you’d like to share, or if you have any thoughts, please share.

Featured Image/Forrest Gump, 1994 © Paramount Pictures