Before I went on vacation in June, I had the chance to watch the very well done History Channel original mini-series The Hatfields and the McCoys. A city slicker (although that’s a bit of a stretch coming from Bradenton) from FL, I knew next to nothing about this deadly feud. Well other than it was a feud, and was quite deadly.
I was astounded at the quality of acting and writing for a production like this. I did find myself changing sides every few commercial breaks. At the end, it wasn’t so much a “side” I took, but which family elicited the most pity in me. The pity “ESPY” went to the Kentucky based McCoy’s, primarily due to the fact that the patriarch Randall McCoy lost more than 5 kids, plus a beaten up spouse who never recovered.
The Hatfield patriarch, Devil Anse (not sure where that name came from), ended up losing a brother and extended family. No kids. So to me that’s probably less of a blow.
But what saddened me the most was not only the loss of life, but the loss of faith. The very religious Randall McCoy ended up losing his faith when God didn’t answer his prayer to deliver he and his family from the marauding McCoy clan. After he prayer for deliverance, he lost two kids and a spouse. That was the final straw.
And so this religious man, who told others that they needed simply to have faith, in the end, lost the only thing that ultimately mattered.
But the opposite was true with Devil Anse Hatfield. At the end of the mini-series, this very irreligious man was baptized. The one who deserted the army, blasphemed regularly, and even told Randall not to mention “God” around him or he would shoot him on the spot, became a Christian.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s just the Prodigal Son story told all over again. McCoy never deserted the army; in fact he stayed and he was the lone survivor in the prison camp. Hatfield left him high and dry. When the two saw each other in church, the religious McCoy wouldn’t even talk to the irreligious Hatfield.
Yet the old son who never seemingly left, who did the right things and encouraged others to be religious as well, missed Jesus. That was the saddest part for me. And the irreligious one found Him, or rather was found by Him.
Shouldn’t surprise us. We’ve seen it before. And we’ll keep seeing it. Both types of people are just as lost, they just don’t look as lost to the untrained eye. But they are, and that’s why neither type will “ask for directions” until moved by the Spirit. The beauty of such “lostness,” is is that neither one is beyond God’s reach.
So there was in fact redemption at the end of this bloody feud, just not how one might have expected it to come. But maybe we should have.