As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.
“What are you thinking?” Avram asks me gently as we walk in the shadows of the old city. “’O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!’”1 I quote. “Why so much suffering, Avram, the blood that has flowed across the centuries into this day?” “Our hands bear that guilt.” “And sickness, earthquakes, floods?” “Do you wonder nature suffers as part of the judgment on us?” “The curse!” I snort. Avram speaks quietly. “The Maker of the Universe has not left us without blessings, of which He is the foremost, or redemption, because of His love.” “I only see hatred.” “Then that is all you will find.”
1Luke 13:34 — “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!“
Psalm 69:32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. Acts 17:26-27 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us ….
Prostrated by the summer’s heat, we cannot always see the fruit that is being produced on a vine. Just so, cast down by our sufferings, it’s hard to see the fruit God is producing in us. Even so, Lord God, we pray, let it all be to your glory! Amen.
In response to SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge today, to wit, a film that inspired you, I like his repartee to the prompt: “Inspired me to what?🤣”
Inspired me to what?
And that made me think of a movie I saw just in the last month on Amazon Prime: Healing River (2020), written & directed by Mitch Teemley. It’s a religious drama borne out of sudden tragedy. I hesitate to call it “religious” because that brings to mind the Hallmark pablum variety. This is more of a drama in the vein of Mike Nichols’s directorial debut, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). Although it’s no black comedy, Healing River socks it to you with its fluid cinematography, character psychology, acerbic, no-holds barred dialogue and – here’s where the inspiration comes from – brutal honesty about what it means to be a Christian.