Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I like movies with a happy ending.  I like it when the good guy wins and the story lines end up tied up in plausible, pleasant ways.  I like the predictability of the happy ending without knowing exactly how it's going to get there.

Life doesn't feel like that.  Oh, I know life isn't a movie, much less a feel-good movie.  But these movies do mirror a part of THE story where God works all things out.

Right now, life feels chaotic, broken, uncertain.  A series of events have left me unsteady.  I drift in and out of anxiety, fear, and doubt daily.  It's hard for me to remember when I'm in this point of the story that there is a happy ending coming when I can't see how I'm going to get there.

The problem is that my focus gets off.  Instead of focusing on God who loves me and cares for me lavishly, who has told me that there will be trouble but that I don't have to fret, who fills my day with good things if I only have eyes to see...I look at the negatives: the things that need fixing, the places that are dirty and piled with stuff, the unsorted laundry, the messy kitchen and unmade beds, the projects left undone, the relationship struggles, my mistakes and my inability to keep up with it all and to fix it all to my liking.

All of these light and momentary troubles somehow have obtained the power to absorb my attention and distort my perspective.

Pretty Woman is one of my favorite happy-ending movies.  I know it's an unrealistic story involving prostitution, but there's a bit of Hosea hidden in there, and I just love the scene when Julia Roberts as Vivian is firmly approached by Hector Elizondo, the hotel mayordomo, for her disheveled appearance that doesn't quite fit the hotel's clientele.  Once he hears that she has been unable to purchase anything respectable to wear because the shops on Rodeo Drive won't attend her because of how she looks, he takes her under his wing and proceeds to bring to life the beauty and passion that has always been there in Vivian...it's just gotten muddied and distorted by the world and the lies that have been heaped on her.  And after a second shopping attempt is successful, Vivian emerges poised and beautiful and confident. If you've seen the movie, you know the ins and outs of her complicated relationship with Richard Gere and how that all turns out, and while it's far from a perfect analogy of God and his love for us, it does speak something profound about the power of perspective and kindness and love.

I just need to remember that God sees past all of my outer trappings that make me unappealing to myself...No one has rejected me or refused to help me recently because of how I look, how my house looks, or how my relationships look.  But I do often refuse to help myself out...to give myself a break and show some love and kindness, to "allow" God to be bigger than it all so that everything I see goes through His perspective, His Truth.

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

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