Noah – the movie Christians love to hate.

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Finally saw NOAH last night. To all the Christians that are disappointed it wasn’t the Sunday School version of the story we’ve heard all our lives, I think you misunderstand the medium of film (and story-telling in general). The best stories are the ones that resonate with something innate inside us all. That pierce through the shallow, stony exteriors and hit a vein much further below the surface. Deep down where no story is truly original, but a re-telling (in a new way) of a Truth that has always been true. This is when an audience can relate to a story because they themselves can identify with that truth which is being explored.

To tell Noah the way we’ve always heard it would be pointless and redundant. Not to mention boring – we’ve all heard it before.

But Aronofsky explored other, deeper truths within the story. Truths that, if we are open enough to see and hear, just might teach us something about who God is, and who we are as humanity.

I personally felt like the narrative addressed issues like who really is ‘good’ and who really is ‘wicked.’ And maybe both can be found in each of us. Those generalizations we’ve made about ‘all those wicked and godless people’ don’t necessarily hold up, when you cross paths with one of those people as an individual and find goodness within them. And the same is true about the ‘righteous’ – under the right, grueling circumstances even they are capable of wicked behavior. And if that’s true, then we are all in the same boat, and mercy is given to all.

This is what makes redemption so powerful, and for me that was the theme of this account of Noah.

Cultural, political, and social agendas aside, this story is about redemption. And that my friends is the heart of every good and true God story. And every good and true human story. That’s what I celebrate about this film.

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our own worst critic.

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Just a simple poem I wrote up last night while waiting for a friend at a restaurant. sharing here so I’ve got a record if it.

Rough cut, no edits:

Hung out to dry,
I let out a sigh filled with sorrow and pain at the way you said goodbye
to me.
It took being blinded to finally see.
With rocks in my chest,
I tried my best
to force these feet of stone to move –
But I’ve waded through too much mud in the patience of my love
and it’s caked on so thick
I think I’ll trip when I finally run away from you.
But that view’ll be the best thing I can do for for the wounded warriors in my bones,
The ones that know,
This whole thing with you wasn’t really you, it was me.
My poor knees,
they’re gonna bruise and bleed in the wake of my pleading for mercy.
Lord knows we’re our own worst critics.

Ready or not… [#its5oclocksomewhere.]

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June 8th. Friday. 5pm.
…………………….
My car is pointing South and I’ve been on the road for several hours already. The wipers slide across the windshield, clearing my vision of the tiny droplets of water this mist has left behind. The rain is an odd paradox to the beautiful sunshine that continues to shine down on me. Peeking up through my open sunroof, the light warms my face and the gentle mist falls on my skin. And I smile.

This is it. I’ve been preparing for this trip – adventure… escapade… jaunt… vacation… whatever you want to call it – for quite some time now. And, here, right in front of my eyes, it’s happening. I glance back over my shoulder and see the giant backpack and suitcase that are accompanying me on this 3 month journey. Back home my goodbyes have been said, my affairs have been brought into order, and now my trusty road atlas has taken its rightful place on my passenger seat. The next three months I will be hanging out with my family, spending time living out of a trailer parked on my parent’s street, road tripping all over the United States’ southwest, camping, hiking, hanging out with friends, reading, writing, and overall just giving my heart room to breathe. Room to just, be.

Did I lose my job, you ask? Experience a recent traumatic event? Lose a meaningful relationship? Face a life-altering and terrifying crossroads? Epically fail at something profound I had attempted?

Nope. To all of the above. No friends, this 3 month adventure is not a response to a negative and/or disappointing set of circumstances. It isn’t a last-ditch effort to improve my life. I’m not running away from something I’m afraid of. Believe it or not, my life “back home” is better than ever.

This adventure is something I am doing simply because I want to. Because I asked my heart, “What do you want to do?” And then I made room for the answer. I planned and saved and bought and sold and made the decisions necessary to shift the momentum of my life in this particular direction. And then I stood on the edge of the beautifully terrifying and wildly adventurous cliff I had created for myself, I breathed in deeply and summoned all of my courage and zeal, and I jumped. I took the leap.

And as I head into the dawn of my little adventure, I pray that you would do the same. That you’ll have the courage to ask, to really and honestly ask, your heart what it desires. And then be brave enough to make room for it’s answer. And, last not but least, when the timing is right, to take the leap.

Because you owe it yourself. And you owe it to this beautiful and glorious experience we call life.

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“Tell me, what is it you plan on doing with your one wild and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver

“May you live all the days of your life.”
– Jonathan Swift

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— Not sure what “#its5oclocksomewhere” is all about? Click here for the quick background story on this creative project of mine and get caught up!

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“Don’t let someone steal your tenderness…

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Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep…feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love.

– Zooey Deschanel

I love her, and I love this quote.
#wordstoliveby

I think the ability to affect the world, and the people, around you – and to be affected by them – is one of the greatest honors we have as members of this beautiful family called humanity. The fact that another person can influence the person that I am – wow. I consider it a privilege.

Life is a grand adventure and Humanity is gorgeous; Our interaction with both is meant to be communual. We are made to rub off on one another. And we begin to become inhumane the moment we isolate ourselves and fail to see the humanity happening right in front of us.

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steeple of stone. [#its5oclocksomewhere]

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April 21st. Saturday. 5pm.
………………………………………………….
The sun breaks through the clouds and throws it’s filtered light into the valley to my right. Trees are scattered across the ridge I am following, but the hills below are littered only with small shrubs and tall grass. I make my way west, following the sun as it moves across the sky.

As I climb higher and higher, completley out of the valley now, I follow the route that’s been carved out for me through stone and snow, and blaze my trail across the mountain pass. Golden light falls across the ancient momunments that surround me on every side, and their large shadows are cast across the highway. Stealing a glance up through my open sunroof I catch my breath. The larger-than-life peak of the mountain is literally right there, and I wish I were a passenger so I could reach out my hand and skim the rocky surface laying just beyond my reach.

I can’t imagine being any closer to this steeple of stone and I think about the way something so massive can make me feel both finite and empowered in the same breath. And in each case, always making me feel connected.

What an honor it is to share this gorgeous planet with brothers made not of flesh and bone, but of leaves and water and stone.

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Not sure what “#its5oclocksomewhere” is all about? Click here for the quick background story on this creative project of mine and get caught up!

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