I recently watched the movie The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. I thought it was a delightful little film that revealed so much of God the Father and of Christ Jesus in the character that De Niro played. I saw Hathaway’s character represent humanity in its lost state, really current to today’s western culture where people seemingly have it all. A world where coffee, take away, technology, staying back at the office till all hours of the morning, managing multiple staff, being busy, busy, busy is apparently ‘where it’s at’. In her world, Hathaway didn’t have time for De Niro (just like the world, and even the church, is too busy and preoccupied with it’s own status to have time for God).
De Niro, as the intern, reminded me of Christ coming to the world as a humble servant. Although He had all the wisdom of eternity in Him, He came to serve, to love, to lead us home. He never imposed His love upon us, He never does. He just waits for us, but He remains the same. As an aged widower intern in a young and hip, super productive business, De Niro’s character proposed a threat to Hathaway’s character, initially, as being a burden or a weight around her neck that she didn’t have time for or interest in (again, just like the world today).
However, De Niro’s character is so gentle and humble, patient, restrained, and yet holds years of wisdom and life experience that he knows Hathaway’s character needs. He sees her plight without saying a word; He is like God in that He is all-knowing and all-loving. He sees her predicament and the path she is headed down, and He is always there to support and encourage her. He does the menial tasks, the little things, that he has observed will help her and make her happy. In many respects, He gives up His own life (soul-life) for hers. Sound familiar? She subconsciously picks up on his very observant nature and at one point, wants him fired because he is ‘too observant’. This reminded me of some of us when we first sense this wooing from the Lord, to get to know Him. We can be afraid of losing our own identity, being exposed for who we really are, having our masks removed and being vulnerable.
However, throughout the story, De Niro’s character is ‘for’ her, just as God is ‘for’ us. He wants the best for her (as Christ does for His bride, as God the Father does for His children). De Niro sees what Hathaway doesn’t see, and looks out for her. He encourages her in knowing her true identity and builds her up and edifies her, just as Christ does with His church.
Eventually, Hathaway’s character realizes what a beautiful, steady, calming, and wise influence he is in her life and how much she needs him. She humbles herself and is desperate to have him back along side her, and eventually becomes best friends with him, allowing him into her family life, and every part of her life. She shares her intimate secrets with him….she trusts him. This is like the journey we take with the Lord not only when we come into salvation, but as we grow deeper and deeper into knowing Him. The more we get to know Christ, the more He exposes the hidden things in our life, and the more we learn that He is trustworthy, and we are in safe hands with him, and the more desperate we are for more of Him in our lives. Eventually, we let God into every area of our lives and we find that we cannot live without Him. He, being our Wonderful Counselor, becomes the one we turn to for advice, counsel, comfort and strength, just as Hathaway’s character did with De Niro’s.
The thing I liked best about this movie, is that there was no twist where De Niro turned bad or let Hathaway down. He was surprisingly consistent throughout their relationship, he took risks to protect her, he loved others, he shared his home with the homeless, he became all things to all people, and yet he never compromised who he was. He remained faithful to himself, to his own character. This sure reminded me of God’s faithfulness. Just when we think He’s too nice, too good to us, He stays that way. The reliable and steady loyalty and character of De Niro was a beautiful representation of those qualities of our God. He is the author and perfecter of our faith alright. He sees us through. He changeth not. And we are found in safety and love for the rest of our lives and through all eternity.
Featured Image Credit: IMDB
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