I have a hard time expressing how much weight lifted off my shoulders when I realized I was bent and that my imperfections, my sins, my human failings were not things that must be purged from existence before I was worth a damn. The Creator of all things Loved me not despite my sin but simply loved me wholly and entirely, sins and all. Bent was a way to express that.
It seems a simple thing to say but being that this was suddenly real for a 29 year old man who had called himself a Christian since he was five, grown up a pastor's kid, been a youth pastor, camp counselor, and worship leader, it was likely everything I thought I believed suddenly becoming real. It was like I was waking up. And it didn't come while reading a book about recovery, or in a prayer group or during a powerful moment in a worship service. It came while working on the tiny crew of a full length independent film about a stalker. It came while staying at the house of two of my best friends, who were both on the same crew. It came quietly after a long day of shooting, alone on guest room floor trying to write a little bit about how I was feeling. To paraphrase I wrote about being broken. Being bent. Being imperfect. Both by my very nature and by deliberate choices. I was fallen. And Human.
And suddenly, having said all of that out loud...I felt very loved.
It hasn't been perfect. I still struggle. I'm still very much Bent. But the road to reconciliation with myself, being the hardest person for me to accept and forgive, is much shorter than the 20 year walk it had been.
So Bent, the film, is for me. The clinically depressed kid since grade school. The guy who lived a daily life of faking it to get by. Who had become a full on addict to escapism, especially in the form of pornography and chatting sexually online. Who was headed for a divorce and worried every day about the future of his relationship with his young daughter. And who, screw ups and all, forgave himself.
And it's for all the other "screw ups." For the depressed and the ashamed and the anxious. The ones that compare themselves to everyone else. The ones who listened to one person's bull shit lie and began believing every lie they told themselves. Who believed that had to "get better" before they could be healed by the Great Physician. Who thought they had to be "good" to be loved by the author of love. Who needed to be spotless before being washed in the blood.
We're all Bent. And that was the best news I'd heard in a long time.
Writer/Director of Bent
Influential art during my "waking up"
Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller
Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis
And the music of Thrice, Listener and Enter the Worship Circle