Monday, August 9, 2004


Heh heh.
I think it backfired on ‘im.
It wasn’t what any of us expected, so that made it surprisingly special.
We, the three of us (Clint, Max and I) sat through the most achingly poignant love scene ever..
And no, we were not watching “The Notebook”.

Last week, Max asked me if I wanted to see the Metallica Documentary with him. I figure my days of having teenage sons ask me to view a movie with them might be coming to an end, so I gladly accepted. It was entertaining and enlightening. He felt like talking afterwards, so we chatted about the music industry the whole drive home.

A few nights later, Clint and I went for a late night walk through our neighbourhood; he kept me company while I dropped various borrowed items off at different friends’ homes. “Got any plans for Friday night?” I asked.
“Don’t think so. Why?” he replied.
“Wonderin’ if you wanna see a movie…”
“Maybe. Which one were you thinking’ of?”
“Whatever you want. You can pick. Heard that The Bourne Supremacy is good. Or Collateral…”
“I’ll see. Not sure.”

By the time Friday rolled around he decided the only movie he wanted to see was The Village.
“So, do you want to see that one?” he challenged me.
“Uh. Sure. If that’s what you want to see, I’ll go with you.”
“Max? You wanna come with mom and me?”
“OK. Mom? Are you really going to see a horror movie?”
“Yup. If that’s what you two want to watch, I’ll come too.”

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I expected the worse.
And came out of the theatre laughing.
“That was a stupid chick flick.” Clint says disgustedly. “I suppose you liked it?”
“Yup. Totally. And that romantic scene was the most beautiful one I’ve seen in years. Glad I got to watch if with you guys.”
“What romantic scene? There was a love scene?”
“On the porch.”
“What? That was romantic?”
Max interjects, “Did you cry mom?”
“Of course. It was so moving. I’m hoping some billionaire widower with 6 kids and a villa in Italy was watching and taking notes…”
“Never mind. Did you like it?”
“ ‘s OK.”

I don’t want to wreck the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, so I won’t give away the plot. But the whole idea of an entire village living in fear of whatever is lurking in the forest around them is similar to the theme of the book I’m reading, “A Complicated Kindness”.

In the novel, the story is told from a Mennonite 16 year old girl’s perspective. She lives in a Mennonite community where everyone seems to be doubly related to each other. The whole town lives in fear of being excommunicated, or shunned.
“We’re Mennonites. As far as I know, we are the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you’re a teenager. Five hundred years ago in Europe a man named Menno Simons set off to do his peculiar religious thing … Imagine the least well-adjusted kid in your school starting a breakaway clique of people whose manifesto includes a ban on the media, dancing, smoking, movies, drinking, rock ‘n roll, having sex for fun, swimming, make-up, jewellery, playing pool, going to cities, or staying up past nine o’clock. That was Menno all over. Thanks a lot, Menno.”

“Menno was on a cough syrup binge when he drew up these lists of dos and don’ts and somehow, inexplicably, they’ve survived time and are now an integral part of our lives.”

I am a Mennonite.
I understand “lists” of acceptable and non-acceptable activities.
I was raised by incredibly liberal parents, so I tightened up the loose list they established.

Like the villagers in the movie, and the townspeople in the book, I too allowed fear to dictate my life. Fear of boogymen? Nah. Fear of being shunned? Nope.
My fear was of hell. Eternal damnation. Fire. Heat. Singed hair and burning feet.
Something to avoid at all costs.
Whatever else that fear did, it sure kept me on the straight and narrow…
(no really. Very straight. Incredibly narrow. Never smoked. No drugs. No alcohol. No cheating on tests. Virgin on wedding night. Yadda yadda yadda.)

Last night, the kids and I were reading a short devotional by Max Lucado:
Here are some God-given time tested truths that define the way you should navigate your life:
- When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
- Succeed at home first.
- Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
- Pray twice as much as you fret.
- God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
And the BIG one for me:
- Love God more than you fear hell.

“Whoa.” I said to the boys. “That’s the key right there. Let loving God be your motivation. Not being afraid of hell…I think I’m just starting to “get” it now, in these past few years. I hope you guys can grasp this concept sooner than I did…”

It’s called synchronicity … when everything seems to be working together for a reason. In my case, the movie, the book and the devotional all had the same message that I guess God wanted me to hear.

How lucky am I to be loved by a God who speaks to me however He can. If I don’t pick up my Bible for awhile, he just makes sure I hear from Him through other sources, “horror” flicks, secular novels, short devotionals… whatever it takes. Because He wants my love. Not my fear. He wants a relationship with me. Not mindless obedience to meaningless lists.

Had another incident of synchronicity… do do do do (Twilight Zone Theme). I’ve been fiddling around at Quizilla’s website, looking for another quiz to do, and came across one called, “Which movie should you be in?” It had a more extensive questionnaire, with something like 7000 different possible results. Can you guess which movie?
Here’s a hint: (I wrote this back in the Spring.)
Bevo has finally figured out how to provide us field workers with music. Jack fm is now transmitted over the PA system speakers, barely hear-able over the sounds of fork lifts, fans, sprinklers and whining women. Regardless, the other moms and I have been playing “name that tune” whenever a familiar song is played.
“What’s this?”
“In Your Eyes,” I say with assuredness.
“In Your Eyes? Who sings it? Phil Collins?”
“Peter Gabriel,” I say with assuredness.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure.” I say with assuredness. “I know this song. I’ve downloaded it onto my computer. It’s from my all time favourite romantic movie, with my favourite actor.”
“Pirates of the Caribbean?”
“Hardly. That wasn’t romantic. Say Anything with John Cusack… that was romantic. He stands under his girlfriend’ window, holding a ghetto blaster up over his head, with this song blaring. He’s wearing a trench coat and a look of longing on his face.” Sigh…
“Who’s John Cusack? What does he look like?”
“He’s our age, early 40’s. Lived with Neve Campbell for awhile. Never married. Beady squintly eyes. Thin lips. Dark hair. Was in High Infidelity, Serendipity, American Sweethearts, RunAway Jury…”
“Oh, was he the guy in that movie where he was a mass murderer?”
“You mean Kevin Spacey?”
“Yeah? Is that who he is?”
“No. He’s John Cusack. Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey.”
“Oh. Then I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

By now the song has ended and I don’t know what I’m talking about.


Say Anything...
Say Anything...

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by quizilla

Clearly this means that John Cusack is going to be my next husband.
I guess Kirstie Allie gets the billionaire widower...

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