[bl]I[/bl] sit in front of the big screen and watch a story that is fiction, but truth pierces the conversations, behaviors and relationships. It could be real. About the time the white hands serve fried chicken to the one who should have been cooking and serving, I realize I am taking fewer breaths than normal. This holding in of emotion that is welling up inside of me. Emotion that has been caught, lying dormant in my chest for some time now. The women in character – the way they laugh and interact, struggle and survive – it reminds me of the ones who loved me deep in Uganda. The ones who made sure I was cared for. The ones who filled my home with so much love and grace and laughter.
And when the little girl with blond curls touches the black cheeks of the woman who speaks words of truth to her – I nearly choke on these emotions that I haven’t known what to do with. It’s been almost two years since my own blonde curly girl caressed the black skin of those who held her first. She doesn’t even remember them now.
Is it strange to miss the color of one’s skin?
And then there’s the real issue. The one the story is about. The inequality sustained by the hearts of men and women. I couldn’t help but wonder which part I would have played if I had lived that story. I hope I would have been the one holding the pen, writing their stories. It may have been the first time I have cried – really cried – for the way sin draws boundaries. It seems utterly foolish when I see it played out on the screen. And yet, I know they are no guiltier than I. My sin draws lines. My value system disgraces. And my eyes separate.
Jesus, teach us how to love like you.
What do we do when we read words, watch stories, and hear testimonies that convict our heart of man’s ways and God’s truth? And what if the source isn’t intending to point to God’s story, but it does?
How wonderful it is that God meets us everywhere.
God’s story is written on the hearts of men. It’s everywhere we look. It’s in the crucifix position of the super hero. The blood shed for another in the latest blockbuster. It’s in the song about redemption sung by the sinner. It’s in the sign of peace stitched on clothing. And in the boy with a wand when he discovers that love is stronger than darkness and fighting your battles in a community is the only way to fight them.
We can’t help but to tell God’s story when we write ones of our own. His truth is even found in our fiction.
And so on this night, I meet God in the fictional story of these women. And my heart walks away with this:
Living out God’s order of creation requires us to take risks.
When you step outside of your cultural and social boundaries, beautiful things happen.
When you live counter to culture, some relationships will change, others will be sacrificed.
When you listen to others, you grow.
God will always be redeeming our story. We’ve come a long way.
#331 A messy house because it’s been full
#332 The way my love and I can work through struggles
#333 Making art together
#334 The colors we create with
#335 The tutu of an artist
#336 Iced lattes and a morning of togetherness
#337 A day of work between a dad and his boys
#338 A study unfolding
#339 A daughter who isn’t afraid to apologize
#340 The way our children are noticing nature
#341 The Autumn breeze blowing through the end of summer
#342 Meeting neighbors
#343 The open door that welcomed her in