“This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken.’ The doctor says, ‘Well, why don’t you turn him in?’ Then the guy says, ‘I would but I need the eggs.’ … I guess that’s pretty much how I feel about relationships. They’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.” – Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) from the film Annie Hall
Woody Allen concludes his Oscar winning film Annie Hall with this funny yet ironic joke. With Manhattan as its backdrop, the movie explores the nature of human relationships. Under the comedic veneer, Allen’s observant joke has an element of truth. We do “need the eggs.”
Of course, this sounds somewhat cryptic. What do eggs have to do with relationships?
All human beings have a built-in desire to have meaningful relationships of all varieties – friendship, family, romantic, etc. In fact, we were originally created to have perfect relationships with each other and with God. But the rebellion of man against God left a chasm, not only between God and man, but also between person-to-person relationships. Feeling dissatisfied we pursue all sorts of relationships, hoping to fill the void. Childhood best friends, spouses, and next-door neighbors have all left us wanting for more.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t have good times with other people. We do! Yet all of our relationships have messy moments because of our sinful natures.
So why don’t we head for the hills and live like hermits?
Because God designed us to “not be alone.” And that will never change. Despite the fact that Woody Allen has said he doesn’t believe in God, he still can’t stop doing what God has designed him to do. He desperately craves and continues to search for meaningful relationships. We all do.
The good news is that Jesus came to redeem and restore broken relationships.
First and foremost, He came to redeem and restore our broken relationship with our Heavenly Father. Followers of Jesus are given new hearts so they can once again commune with God. They are forgiven of their sins and given Christ’s righteousness. Through prayer and reading God’s word, Christians can boldly come before the Father and trust that our sin no longer is keeping us separated.
Secondly, as Jesus begins to make us more like Him, He redeems and restores our broken relationships with each other. Jesus was our perfect example. He demonstrated his power and grace as he healed the blind, raised the dead, and spoke powerful words of truth and life. Of course He also humbled Himself by becoming a human as well as washing the dirty feet of his followers. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and by Christ’s example, we are able to love and serve our neighbors and our enemies. We no longer idolize people that lead to shattered hopes and bitter hearts. We desire to “love one another as Christ has loved us.” (John 13:34-35) We desire to “serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:12-14)
If you believe Christians always love perfectly, think again. We unfortunately still live in bodies that are corrupted by sin, however, when we fail to love our spouses, children, bosses, etc., we can always ask God and the one we wronged for forgiveness. Grace covers a multitude of sins!
Just before Annie Hall fades to black, we see Allen’s character hugging his ex-lover goodbye. As she walks away into the endless sea of people in New York City, Allen watches as we hear him tell the joke about “needing the eggs.” He understands the need, but he has no idea about how to make the relationship work. But thankfully Jesus came and proclaimed the simple answer: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)