So when my friend Becca was in town this weekend, we seized the opportunity to get out and go see a movie. Our criteria: no "G" rating, nothing made by Disney, and no cute animals. Having heard all the press and excitement, we braved the long lines to see Slumdog Millionaire.
If you have not seen this movie, stop what you're doing and go. Just go see it. Call in sick for work tomorrow and go see it.
I haven't been able to get this film out of my head since Saturday. And I've been trying to figure out why. It's set in a country I know little about. It's about a TV show that I never had interest in. It's about a life that I don't relate to. It's about poverty. And survival. And violence. Things I have read about but do not know personally.
But for some reason, I relate.
This is a story about determination. It's a story about beautiful kindness in the middle of an ugly circumstance. It's about true love, and searching your whole life for it. It's about innocense among manipulation and the hope that all things bad will somehow serve their purpose for good.
Very few of us could compare our story to the story in this movie. It's the luxury of being an American. Our homes are big, we have food to eat, new shoes when we want them. Few of us have helped the homeless or wayward, much less been one.
But for some reason, we can relate.
We relate because we know poverty -- emotional poverty. Here in America, we are surrounded by it. Where the heart is numb, with nothing to offer, and nothing to receive. Maybe you've been there, or maybe you are there now, or maybe you know someone there.
We relate because we know despair. Our banks are closing, our neighbors are foreclosing, and our family members are losing their jobs. And we can't help.
We relate because we watch the news every night and see the violence and insanity too close to home.
And we know that things should be better. And can be better. So our story becomes one of determination. Our story becomes about beautiful kindness in the middle of an ugly circumstance. We hold tight to our belief in true love, and we either keep searching for it, or we do what we can to make sure it lasts forever, for better or for worse. And we have a firm hope that all things bad will somehow serve their purpose for good.
This story is, in many ways, our story. My story. We are all slumdogs in some way. And we want to survive. No, we want to overcome. We want to look back and see that all the hard things we went through have come together for good. And they were worth it.
Regardless of what our slum is, or what our fears are, or what we are overcoming, we have one truth to hold onto. The truth that our God is real and triumphant, and that we are not alone.
Just as it is written.