(un)Conspicuous (un)Conspiracy

Driving and listening to the radio on my drive down to Atlanta, an advert for a new product came on the air. The drug works to combat the ringing in your ears that you get after prolonged exposure to loud noises like you have working construction or at a concert. I have but one problem with it.

Quietus.

That is what they are calling it. That also happens to be the suicide assistance program in the book and movie “Children of Men” by P.D. James. I was a bit freaked out, so I called the toll free number to talk to the sales rep, to let her supervisor know. I mean really? Did they do NO research? Not as if most of the target audience of the drug was also the target audience of the movie, but still. Really?

Wherever I Turn Around

At the house I am staying at this summer, I don’t have access to the internet. Or cable. Or satellite. So, no TV. Not really. It’s ok, really. I have been reading, and I subscribed to Netflix. Ahh. Movies almost on demand. I am using it to catch up on those movies I have heard that I would enjoy, and friends and sister have told me I should see.

“Lars and the Real Girl” arrived today. Beautiful movie. It’s one of those that the synopsis is right in the bare bones and direct plot line, but fails to describe what the movie is really about. And the movie is really and truly about the relationships in the town in which Lars lives. It is about the strength of the church in helping someone heal, even when they don’t know how they are broken. My favorite scene is two thirds of the way through, when Lars’ sister in law is yelling at him, about how much the town loves him. It takes this brokenness and openness for him to begin to realize that it is ok to hurt, to feel, and to need someone else.

This time, I think I may be able to fit it into a sermon. And not worry about the material in it. There are some issues to deal with, but for a teenage and above audience… I think it would work. (Most parents let their kids watch much worse, anyway. Crazy parents.)

Again with the relationships. Although, if you really stop to consider it, most movies, most stories, are about relationships. This deep seated desire in each of us to connect.

Today really was the day for me to learn about relationships. I have been conducting interviews for Wesley CDC, learning from our homeowners about their experience in buying a house. Each of the three women today (and one man, but again with the strong silent type) talked in depth about how the relationships in their lives have affected how they live. The first community that we built, possibly our most successful and cohesive, is the one I finished up in last night. My best interview yet, I think. But after I turned the camera off, she let her tears flow, because one of their friends is in the hospital. I was going to interview this other family, but the husband ended up in the hospital, so that did not happen. In the community that they have built, they have really become an extended family. And they are so beautiful because of this.

I pray that the church would become that kind of community. In many places it is, but also in many places it is still broken, and it may take the glaring obviousness to show where the cracks are, because we have become so adept at covering up our flaws.

Me especially.

Free from…

If Independence Day celebrates the freedom to live as we please, I argue that Sunday is our celebration of freedom from falling in too deep.

Which is the greater freedom? Which do we embrace more fully? Which is more attractive? Why do we think that? Who can make these decision for us?

I watched “Choke” a few days ago. (It is rated R for a very good reason.) It surprised me. It was not at all what I expected.

The protagonist is struggling with his relationship with his insurrectionist mother, who raised him to develop such a strong emotional detachment from anyone, that he has become addicted to serial acts of physical intimacy, with absolutely no relationships.

Though the man is addicted to something that seems to instill intimacy, instead, he has approached it from such a detached point of view, that when he is attracted to a woman who offers herself, he is unable to pull together both the physical and emotional elements of a relationship.

The most unexpected moment in the movie for me was when one of the characters began to paraphrase Galatians 5. The action of love is what it takes to feel love. This then frees us from the filth that we live with every day, and frees us to live in the love that is offered.

It’s a shame that I would never be able to use that clip in a sermon, I think it would be a great illustration, but I could never tell someone to go watch this movie from the pulpit.