The BFG is a sweet movie about a spunky orphan girl named Sophie who is very much alone in the world until she meets a “scary” giant. The other giants are man-eaters, but this one is gentle and loving and he hears the hearts of men, children in particular. He heard her heart and took her from her loneliness to be with him. He is the one good giant among all the giants. And it is he that gives mankind their dreams. He is a dream-giver.
There are so many sweet moments in this story and so many beautiful ways that it connects to the Christian story. For starters, in many ways the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is much like Jesus. It’s not a perfect likeness, but it’s a likeness. There are a lot of other “gods” in the world—things promising power, satisfaction, love, etc. Things promising to fulfill our hearts. But those things are all false and will only devour us in the end. Jesus is the only real God. While any other god will only disappoint, and worse, will devour and destroy us, Jesus loves us, takes us out of our loneliness, protects us and gives us life. He fights for us. He sacrifices Himself for us. He is the only trustworthy one. The only safe one. He is the one who hears our hearts and who gives us dreams. Not only that, but as Sophie and the BFG worked together to save mankind, Jesus partners with us to save our fellow man. (Unlike the movie, however, He is neither bumbling nor following our lead. He is all-wise and all-powerful and He is King and Lord…although I suspect He might appear in much softer ways to a child, more like the BFG.)
Interestingly enough, the other giants used to be good, but they fell; they changed. After they became man-eaters, there was a time they were able to harm man, but in the end, they were banished to an island where they couldn’t hurt anyone ever again… Much like Satan and his angels who also fell and are able to wreak havoc on man for a period of time, but who will in the end also be banished to a place of punishment where they can no longer hurt anyone.
In the end, Sophie found a loving mother and father. The BFG told her that she would…that it was coming for her, and that he knew it was her heart’s desire. She was concerned though. “But will I still have you?” Sophie seemed to know understand what we often miss—sometimes it’s our need and our loneliness that drives us closer to the Lord. It’s wonderful when those needs are met, but when we are happy in life, when we have our heart’s desires, we often lose something in our relationship with the Lord. We don’t have that same dependence and closeness. The BFG replies, “Are you forgetting something? Are you forgetting these?” and he points to his big ears with which he can hear the hearts of man. The truth was, the BFG would always hear Sophie’s heart and be there when she called for him. He wasn’t changing. The thing that changed was Sophie. She ends the story saying, “When I’m lonely, which is not as often as before, I talk to him and he hears me because he hears all the secret whisperings of the world.” She could be closer to him, she could talk to him more than she did, but she, like most of us, only talked to the BFG when she was lonely, and that wasn’t as often as before.
It’s a sweet story, but almost a cautionary tale in the end. We need not lose our connection with the Lord. We need not only talk to Him when we are lonely. We can share everything with Him—our sorrows and our joys. We are to come to him with thanksgiving, not only with need. In fact, we “enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). God is not only a stop-gap for us in a time of need…He is our everything. We are always in need of Him. We were made for Him and will not be satisfied with anything less. No amount of earthly love or pleasures will ever sate our hunger for God.
Questions for Discussion:
- In what ways is the BFG like God? How is he different?
- How are the other giants kind of like fallen angels?
- How did Sophie’s loneliness turn out to be a good thing for her?
- How did Sophie’s relationship with BFG change after she wasn’t lonely anymore? Does your relationship with God change when you are and are not lonely? Should it? Does it have to change?
- When Sophie’s relationship with BFG changed in the end, who was it that changed? Sophie or the BFG?
- Does God ever change? If our relationship with God changes, is it because of God or us?
- How could Sophie have maintained a closer relationship to BFG? How can you maintain a closer relationship to God?
- Do you believe that God hears the hearts of man?