Rabbit Proof Fence
Main Point of Discussion: We must love everyone, including those who mistreat us.
The Video Clip: Stealing eggs.
Australia was a dangerous place to live, especially if you were an Aborigine in 1931. But that’s exactly what Molly was, an Aborigine girl who was relocated 1,500 miles from her family when the Aborigine Act was made law in the early part of the 20th Century.
Molly, her younger sister, and even younger cousin had no sooner arrived at their new “home” when they decided to escape and make the dangerous trip back to their family. They will have to follow the rabbit-proof fence that divides the continent in half if they hope to make it back home. Along the way, they are constantly chased by the skillful tracker named Moodoo, and combat the fierce elements Australia’s outback is known for. The film is a great story of strength and endurance. It’s rated PG-13.
Introducing the Clip:
In Australia in the 1930’s, there was a law known as the Aborigine Act. Basically, it permitted white people to relocate the black Aborigine tribesmen and women to “homes” where they would be given an education. It was nothing more than dressed up slavery, and Molly wouldn’t have any of it. When the 14 year old was re-located 1,500 miles from her family, she and her younger sister and even younger cousin escaped to begin the perilous journey back to their true home. The road was rough at times, and they often had to make tough decisions and take chances. In this scene, Molly decides to risk stealing some eggs from a farmhouse. Let’s take a look at what happens to her.
BEGIN CLIP AT 42 minutes and 30 seconds (in Chapter 9).
- (Scene opens with Molly running into a hen house to steal eggs from a local farmhouse. She picks up a piece of stale bread from the ground meant for the chickens and eats it. While she is plundering underneath one of the hens, the voice of a woman startles her.)
Woman: And what do you think you might be up to? Thieving my eggs, heh? You come out here where I can see you. C’mon. Stand up. Out you come. And get rid of that bread. It’s filthy. You want something to eat? You ask for it. C’mon. I’m not gonna bite you. You’re on your own? Hmmm? Got anyone with you?
(Scene shifts to the back porch where the woman walks out holding some food. She serves her husband and then hands the girls a sack of food for their journey.)
Woman: Where you girls plannin’ on going? Cat got your tongue, heh? Now get. Go on. And watch out for those boys further along. They go out huntin’ rabbits along the fence.
Molly: That rabbit-proof fence?
Molly: Where dat fence at?
When the woman caught Molly red-handed stealing eggs from her chicken coop, she had every right to scold her, punish her, even take her to the authorities that she was desperately running from. Instead of doing any of these things, she had compassion on Molly and helped her. This woman offered Molly radical love, even though Molly was trying to steal from her. I know it’s difficult, but we have to show others this same kind of love, even if they mistreat us.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether or not you would like to travel to Australia.
- ASK SOMEONE: In the clip we just saw, Molly was caught stealing food from the farmhouse. How did the woman respond to Molly’s attempted theft?
- ASK A FEW: What would you have done if you were the woman who caught a kid stealing from you? Be honest.
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the woman showed Molly that kind of love and compassion?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever been in Molly’s shoes? In other words, was there a time in your life when you did something wrong to someone else, and they responded in love and kindness towards you instead of bitterness and hatred?
- ASK A FEW: It’s not always easy to love other people, especially when they mistreat us in some way. As Christians, do you think we are obligated to love all people all the time, no matter how they treat us?
Read the following passage:
Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV)
38″You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43″You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Loving people is not always easy. What makes it really difficult is when they mistreat us. Tonight we saw with our own eyes a fantastic example of a woman who loved and helped a young girl that was caught stealing from her. Instead of taking revenge on the girl, the woman actually helped her by providing her with food, warm clothes, and directions to her freedom. Without a doubt, Molly’s life was changed by the love the woman showed her.
You and I have the opportunity to change people’s lives, too…if we are willing to show them love even when they mistreat us or cause us harm. I know it’s a radical concept, but it’s what Jesus commanded. We know that because that’s what we read about tonight from Matthew 5.
You and I know a lot of people that try to take an eye for an eye when they are wronged. Sadly, many of them are followers of Jesus. After all, that’s the natural thing to do. But we are not permitted to take revenge on those who mistreat us. We are called by Jesus to show love and kindness to all people, even those who hurt us.
When we do, those people take note of the compassion we give to them, and their lives may be changed by our obedience to Jesus.
Chances are good that all of us in here have been hurt by someone else. Unfortunately, that’s just part of life. I want to challenge you to react to that situation the same way Jesus tells us to in Matthew 5. At some point this week, sooner rather than later, I encourage you to go to that person and show them unmerited love.
Trust me…you’re gonna blow their mind! They will probably be expecting you to get even with them; that’s the way this world operates. But if you show your enemy love, like Jesus said, you come a little closer to perfect which is the way Jesus wants us.
I know this is tough, but it’s worth it. If you want some extra prayer or instruction or encouragement, grab one of our leaders before you leave tonight.
Close in Prayer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.