October 09, 2014

Puzzled by Faith

My husband and I watched a movie last night while the kids were gone. The movie was good, funny, and had many mirror-moments for me as a mom. We enjoyed it, even if it isn't one we'd purchase ourselves. I thought over other movies I've seen from "faith-based" production companies (which are poorer quality, art-wise) and wondered what the difference was for me.

I thought of the movie we watched (which I liked), then compared it to the movie Her, which we've also seen. If you are a conservative Christian, it's unlikely you will understand or enjoy Her--not impossible, but unlikely. I think there are too many places that the stretch would be farther than is helpful. It's not impossible to like Her, though, because we both did. I hurt over the relationships portrayed, the hurts in individual lives, and felt characters made poor decisions. I liked the movie because of how it portrayed the raw honesty of it; Her is a movie that was willing to walk into a problem, present an answer, and stick around to see the messy ends of how that answer played out over time.

"Christian" films don't usually do this. They present flawed characters or messy lives, but there's usually an obvious character somewhere in the cast who's getting it "right" and whose approach will be humbly recognized as the godly view by the end of the movie. This is the difference in quality for me.

I am a Christian. I believe that the God I love and serve is the only God who was, is and will be. I believe he never changes his character. I believe he created me and loves me too much to allow barriers between us--most of them barriers I put in place myself. I do believe he is the answer to everything in my life, but it doesn't mean I'm the character in the movie with all the answers.

10/4/11 by mcapraro
When you open a puzzle, the picture on the box (and maybe on a poster inside) tells you what the end will be. That's Christianity. I know how the story will end, and I have some help in piecing it together. Where most people go wrong is believing that picture on the box means they know where each piece goes. No. I still have to sort pieces by color. I still have to work in sections. I still have to put in a lot of time to assemble a complex puzzle. I may not know until the end that a handful of pieces from another puzzle got dumped into mine by the enemy to confuse me.

I get a bad taste in my mouth when books or movies or other Christian art suggest that reading the Bible gives me the ability to pick up a piece and KNOW where it goes. Too often it results in my having a patronizing or pitying tone toward someone puzzling over their present piece. "Those poor people. If only they'd ask Jesus."

Abba, please help me to remember that knowing the picture on the box isn't the same thing as knowing where each piece goes. You've anchored my life in uncertainty so that I can learn to trust in You rather than myself.

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