Source: "Illustrations 7-10-2007" from www.freshministry.org;
"Bridge to Terebitha" 55:52- 56:46
Jess Aarons struggles to fit in at school. He is a talented artist but school bullies, his home situation, and other concerns cause him to keep his gifts to himself. Everything changes when Jess meets Leslie Burke, the new girl. Leslie is a gifted storyteller and challenges Jess to see a more colorful world beyond the dull tones of day- to-day existence. Together they create an imaginary world where they rule and successfully battle the Dark master and his creatures. Leslie challenges Jess’s small view of God.
She encourages him to use the eyes of faith to see beyond a God waiting to punish disobedient sinners, and instead by faith see a Loving Creator who has given people a wonderful world in which to live, and enjoy a relationship with Himself and others.
Jess, Leslie and Jess’s sister Maybelle are riding home from church in the back of a pickup. Leslie looks at Jess and says, “I’m really glad I came. That whole Jesus thing, it’s really interesting isn’t it?” As Jess reflects on the question, Maybelle says, “It’s not interesting, it’s scary! It’s nailing holes through your hands.” Then Maybelle adds, “It’s cause we’re all vile sinners. God made Jesus die.” Leslie looks at Jess who looks more confused and asks, “Do you really think that’s true?” Jess ponders her question and offers, “It’s in the Bible isn’t it?”
Leslie questions Jess’s assumptions stating, “You have to believe it and you HATE it.
I don’t have to believe it, and I think it’s beautiful.” Maybelle tells Leslie, “You’ve got to believe in the Bible. If you don’t God will damn you to hell when you die.”
With a slight smile Leslie asks, “How? Where did you hear that?” Maybelle turns to Jess for support and asks, “That’s right huh, Jess. God damns you to hell if you don’t believe in the Bible.” Jess sounds less sure of himself, but responds, “I think so.” Leslie says, “Well I don’t think so. I seriously do no think God goes around damning people to hell. He’s too busy running all this!” she exclaims spreading her arms wide.