30 May 2014

Magnificently Maleficent!

For those familiar with my ramblings, I’m sure you could probably say that the major theme of my entries is LOVE.  Whether or not I am able to articulate the accurate thought, love is at the core of what I write, and preach, and attempt to live.  This being said, I just watched the movie Maleficent, and it was not what I had expected.  (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD)  Without giving too much away, the movie got me thinking on what love means for me in my life, and how Love calls me to live.  The way in which love is portrayed in the movie made me think about a Facebook discussion in which I clumsily stuck my nose.  The article was just a brief note which made mention of a Dallas TV cohost that got upset and stormed off of the set of her show.  The reason for her leaving had to do with the fact that somebody mentioned how there had been several professional and non-professional players who had been reprimanded for having had negative comments about Michael Sam.  As the host walked off the set, she made mention of going to Midland.  Quite honestly, I don’t really know what this meant, and it isn’t really important for the sake of this blog.  What did become difficult for me, is that of all the comments for and against the host, one person (and there’s always at least one) began to ramble off Bible passages which are so easily used to condemn homosexuality.  Whatever.  As Jesus says, even the devil knows his scripture.  What is important (and this is where the movie comes in, I think) is what is at the root of everything the Bible says, and ultimately, what Jesus LIVED!  You see, it is all too easy to hide behind scripture as we hurl insults or condemnation at others, especially those we don’t “agree” with.  The greater challenge comes when we have to reach out to our brother or sister and love them.  I say this because Jesus Himself didn’t check credentials or labels.  He didn’t ask the leper whether or not he was a child of Abraham, instead, he approached the leper and made him clean.  The leper, the one who had become worse than death, was reintegrated and brought before God and man in a moment of mercy and love.  In a similar way, I don’t recall reading where Jesus asks the woman caught in adultery whether or not she was Jewish or Him stopping to tell her that He loved her but hated her sin.  Instead, he goes to her, and saves her, and not just spiritually.  There are many, many instances in which love transcends titles and status, and that is where Maleficent comes to mind.  Because just when I thought I knew how the movie would turn out, it happened that I was surprised and moved by the image of love doing exactly what I didn’t expect.  This love (in Disney’s own way) reaches beyond the norms of what we say it should do, and does that which is seemingly impossible.  And isn’t that what we as Christians believe, that LOVE does the impossible.  I mean come on, we profess that Love takes on flesh, Love walks among us, Love teaches us, Love reaches out to us, Loves dies for us, and just when we think that the end credits are about to appear, Love makes us realize that He cannot be contained, Jesus even reached beyond death and LOVES!  And so, in a similar way, I am challenged by Maleficent because of the witness she shows me.  Love will surprise us!  So there it is, Love is calling each and every one of us to look beyond the label, and to see through Love’s eyes, not into the eyes of the leper, the woman caught in adultery, the gay or the outcast, but into the eyes of one redeemed by Love, one whose life is just as beautiful as my own.  One upon whom God smiles and cries out “My beloved!”  It isn’t always easy, but it’s a call that we must heed, for as we come together in communion, we come before Him who is Love, and who touches us, just as the woman with the hemorrhage and so many others.  Loving is sometimes difficult, but it will make all the difference.  So I pray that I may be an image of Love (as clumsy as I may be).  As always, know that I love you.  RL

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