Ain’t You Tired?

The 2012 film The Help depicts life in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962 – particularly the intersecting worlds of the black women (“the help”) who work as maids, cooks, and child caregivers and the white women whose households they serve.

Hilly Holbrook, one of the housewives, is an angry, self-absorbed, manipulative racist.

She haughtily confronts Aibileen Clark (played by Viola Davis), who is her friend Elizabeth’s maid.

Hilly threatens to accuse her of stealing the silver.  “Call the police,” she says to Elizabeth.  That will put this maid in her place.

Aibileen, who is a wise, spiritual woman, has finally had enough.  She gets in Hilly’s face.  “All you do is scare and lie and try to get what you want,” she says.  “You a godless woman” – probably the deepest insult she could possibly make.

Then she speaks the most important words in the movie:  “Ain’t you tired, Miss Hilly?”  Pause.  “Ain’t you tired?”

It’s a defiant question.
It’s also a loving question.

And it’s a question we need to wrestle with every day.

Ain’t you tired?

Tired of always trying to look like the smartest person in the room?
Tired of always having to be right?
Tired of always trying to get the last word?
Tired of always trying to be in control?
Tired of always trying to be the center of attention?
Tired of judging other people and throwing shadows on their accomplishments?
Tired of always trying to look like a hero?
Tired of trying to be as good as good can be to impress God, even though God has already made it abundantly clear that there’s nothing you can do to make him love you more?

When we’re tired of being tired, there’s hope we will finally listen to someone beyond ourselves.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Jesus says in Matthew 11:28.

When we’re tired of being tired, trusting him is our best hope of sleeping well tonight.

— Authored by Glenn McDonald

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