As it is with great characters in great movies, I can identify with a least a part of each of them (except Ashley Wilkes, he gives me heebeegeebees). When I was a young girl I didn't pretend to be Cinderella or a fairy princess, I was Scarlett O'Hara. As I became a teenager I liked that she always had beautiful clothes, an 18 1/2" waist, and all the boys in Georgia falling at her feet. She was flirtatious and when she didn't get her way she either pouted, cried or slapped the crap out of somebody!
In my twenties, I saw Scarlett as a strong woman. Strong-willed, refused to take no for an answer. She was a successful business woman. She was brave in the face of danger and just turned her perfect nose up at people that didn't like her too much. And when push came to shove, she took care of the folks around her.
Several years back I started detecting a transformation in myself. I no longer wanted to identify myself with Scarlett. Melanie Wilkes is the true hero of this film. She is the complete opposite of Scarlett. At first glance she seems weak and timid, but looking closer at her character you see the quiet strength of a woman that loves with her entire being. She could only see the good in those around her. She was "honored to be obliged" to the town harlot, Belle. She respected and got respect in return from the busy-body society ladies. She admired Rhett for his heart, but most of all, she loved Scarlett. I think she always knew that Scarlett was in love with her husband, but she loved both of them so completely that she could not have a bad thought against either one of them.
To love so completely, to open yourself to the harshness of the world around you, yet not be jaded by it, that is a beautiful picture of a wife, a sister, a friend. She gave every fiber of herself to others. Never expecting anything in return. The character of Melanie reminds me of the description in Proverbs of a Godly woman.
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also he praises her." Proverbs 31:28
I can think of no better endorsement than to have my children call me blessed and to have my husband praise me. In no way am I even close to being the Godly woman described in Proverbs, but I do know that the sweetest words I have ever heard my husband say were words he said about me and not to me.
I have fallen short of being praiseworthy and there are many things I wish I could do over. I am thankful that God can take my screw-ups, my mistakes and use them for His glory. I am thankful that He doesn't require me to be perfect. I am glad that His strength can show through my weakness.