Fredo

Why we’re more like Fredo than anyone else…

Which Corleone are you most like?

If we were to take a poll asking which Godfather fella we most resemble, I would imagine most everyone would answer either Don Vito, the wise, powerful boss, or Michael, the confident, capable one who commands respect. Sure, Sonny was a hothead, but he’s probably popular enough to pull a few votes (pre-Tommy-gunning).

Almost assuredly, no one would say Fredo – the insecure, overlooked, dim, traitorous brother. Yet Fredo (real name John Cazale), more than anyone in the famiglia, reflects the reality of what we’re really like.

At our core, we’re all such fragile, squirrely, conniving, self-serving, devious creatures. No one likes to think of themselves in this way, but it’s true.

Perhaps you’ve never arranged for a hit on your sibling in an effort to solidify your position of authority in an organized crime family, but how often do we throw people under the bus in more subtle ways? A lie here, a derisive comment there; a bit of tattling on a perceived rival. We’re more efficient than hyenas when it comes to exploiting others’ weaknesses. Yet when it’s time to stand up and do the right thing, we turn turtle.

We don’t sermonize much at the Mighty F, but the spiritual parallel here is irresistible. While the ruthless world rejects, chews up and disposes of the weak, the spineless, and all the Fredos of the world, it’s nice to know that Jesus says otherwise. He reinforces the inherent value of people with the sort of character deficiencies we bulldoze in this world – the meek, the poor in spirit – and even says they will inherit the land.

Grace for underdogs.

So instead of being whacked in a fishing boat like we probably deserve, we get a place at the head of the table. Instead of getting, “I knew it was you, you broke my heart,” then receiving our fate of sleeping with the fishes, we get, “I knew it was you, but I forgive you and love you, always.” 

So here’s to Fredo, and the hope that there is redemption for all us broken down humans with the worst features of hyenas and turtles thrown into the mix. Here’s to an offer of grace we can’t *refuse!

*Look for future discussions on this topic of whether or not we’re able to ultimately reject grace, under “Free Will,” or possibly “Foosball.” Probably “Free Will.”

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