Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
My wife sent me movie searching yesterday, trying to get me out of the house so she could wrap my Christmas present. So, I headed to Blockbuster. As I walked through the continual shelves of stories, I kept hearing the same repeating music over and over. It was the menu screen from the DVD playing on the store’s TVs. The movie was World Trade Center, a recounting of September 11th. As I checked my movies out and headed for the exit, I could not help but overhear the Blockbuster woman behind the counter, finally realizing that the movie’s menu was on repeat.
“Oh I can’t take this right now.”
As she turned the DVD off, it was not a voice of frustration I heard, but one reflecting the heaviness of life. It was the voice of her heart. I did more than hear it; I felt it. Part of me wanted to scold her for not accepting reality. Another part of me empathized with her. The weight of her heart begged me to ask some questions as I departed: What are we to do with the tragedies that happen in life? How are we to interpret them? In a store such as Blockbuster, filled with happily ever after fairy tales, what are we to conclude about the real disappointments in life?
And yet, calling anything a disappointment implies that there were expectations and hopes for something better. I was reading about a guy named Simon Weil who said there are two things that pierce the heart: beauty and affliction. Clearly my Blockbuster friend was experiencing the latter. At the same time, there are genuine times of realizing beauty. It is strange that we are expected to deal with both of these, sometimes within the same hour. Thinking and reading Curtis and Eldredge brought me to a final conclusion. Dealing with beauty and affliction has everything to do with how you interpret it.
(Ponderings To Be Continued…)