Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride

As a young boy, Inigo Montoya stood by helplessly as a mysterious six-fingered man murdered his father. When Inigo tried to defend his father, the six-fingered man left the boy with scars on both his cheeks.

Inigo dedicated his adult life becoming a master swordsman, hoping one day to meet the six-fingered man once again. His life's ambition was to find the six-fingered man and avenge his father's death.

In a scene near the end of The Princess Bride, Inigo finally confronts the six-fingered man: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

As a boy, Inigo had been no match for the six-fingered man. Young Inigo challenged his father's murderer, and he was humiliated, left with two gruesome scars to remind him and everyone he met that he was inadequate, a failure.

Unfortunately, here at the end of the movie, Inigo is still no match for the sadistic, cowardly, dishonorable Count Rugen. Rugen taunts Inigo as he proceeds to puncture just about every major artery in Inigo's body. Inigo, faint from loss of blood, collapses against a wall.

Confident that he has mortally wounded Inigo, Count Rugen stands calmly before the young man and waits for him to collapse onto the floor. Instead, Inigo straightens, winces, and repeats: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

The six-fingered man is stunned. Inigo's knees buckle, but again he regains his composure. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Every time Inigo repeats that phrase, he grows stronger. Advancing on the six-fingered man, Inigo duels him until, finally, the six-fingered man is defenseless and begging for mercy, terrified for his life.

As a child, Inigo had not been defeated - he had only been scarred. Those scars motivated him to study, to learn, to grow strong, and to face down the thing that shattered his world when he was a boy.

When he finally faced Count Rugen, Inigo was no longer a weak, cowering child. He had grown into a focused and determined young man and a master swordsman.

What do I learn from Inigo Montoya?

I learn that although my past shapes me, it does not define who I am. The scars I bear are not the end of my story.

In this particular scene from The Princess Bride, I am reminded of the many times I have faced fear, shame, a sense of inadequacy or worthlessness.

"My name is Inigo Montoya." When I am at my lowest, I need to remind myself who I am and, more importantly, whose I am: I am a daughter of the Most High King.

When he fought Count Rugen, Inigo was strengthened by repeating his lifelong resolution. When I face the adversary of my soul, I am strengthened by repeating the truths of God's Word.

"My name is Camille, and I am a beloved child of God. My God is sovereign, He is good, and He loves me very much."

Yes, I may have scars, but, no, I am not defeated.

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