Friday, July 16, 2010

Hearts Song

Hearts Song by Gary A. Lippincott

What can you see, on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea, a pale moon rises.
The ships have come, to carry you home.

~ Into the West, Annie Lennox

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
~ Louisa May Alcott

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.
~ Hebrews 11:13

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


As I put my first Bollywood movie in the DVD player, I had no idea.  It was just a Netflix recommendation. "Since you liked ___ and ___ we think you'd also enjoy Veer-Zaara."  Say what?  What's a Veer-Zaara?  But I figured, what the heck?  Sure.  I'll give it a try. 

So there I was, blissfully ignorant. Little did I know that I was about to fall in love....With the colors.  With the storytelling.  With the spontaneous musical sequences.  (With the obvious lip syncing.)  With the melodrama.  With the heartache.  With the dancing.  With the joy.  With everything.

I didn't understand a word.  But that didn't matter.  I was hooked. 

Thank goodness for Netflix.  I started watching as many Bollywood movies as I could find.  And before I knew it, I started recognizing things:  actors, plots (one movie I found was a reinterpretation of "A Walk in the Clouds"), cultural norms, a word here and there.  Once, I recognized a Bollywood actress in an American movie -- not because of her name or her look, but because of the way she acted.  It was the things she did and didn't do that gave her away. And one day, I actually recognized a word I know from my brief study of Arabic.  It was a pretty funny moment.  Who knew that Arabic and Hindi would have some shared words?  I was so proud that I knew the word before the subtitle appeared! 

My obsession has grown so much that I've actually decided to learn Hindi.  If for no other reason than to watch these films without having to rely on the subtitles.

And then it struck me how similar that was to my walk of faith. 

I want my life to be for other people what that first movie was for me.  Starting with common ground, but giving them a glimpse into another type of story.  A completely counter-cultural story.  One where my origins are given away by what I do and don't do.  One filled with color and music and joy.  Where they don't have to know the language to understand what's going on, but where there's the option of subtitles so they don't even have to worry about it.  Maybe some of the words are familiar (maybe none of them are), but the more they hang around the more they understand.  And before they know it, they want to learn the language too.

Monday, July 12, 2010


"O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be."

While playing this song in church last Sunday, my imagination decided to carry me to the land of Monte Cristo and to focus for a moment on the unforgettable Jacabo.  I saw him laying there on the sand after losing a fight to a nameless stranger... 

When Edmond finally breaks out of jail, he washes ashore and immediately encounters a man in trouble.  Jacabo made a bad choice, and he was going to have to pay with his life.  He's given a chance to to get out of his fate by fighting Edmond.  And he probably thought it was going to be a walk in the park.  After all, he's the best knife fighter Luigi has ever seen and Edmond is little more than jailbait.  But he's easily bested.  And Jababo's out of luck.  But then something happens he could never have seen coming.  Edmond offers Luigi a different solution and Jacabo's life is spared.  Cue one of my favorite movie quotes: "I swear on my dead relatives - and even on the ones who are not feeling too good - I am your man forever!"  What else could he do?

Jacabo is indebted to Edmond's grace and their journey begins.  That doesn't mean they're always on the same page.  Cue quote number two: "Why not just kill them? I'll do it! I'll run up to Paris - bam, bam, bam, bam. I'm back before week's end. We spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan?"  I suppose that isn't surprising since when they met Jacabo knew absolutely nothing about Edmond (not even his true name).  The treasure wasn't the point. (There's a thought that could send me on a ramble!) He just knew that one moment he was looking at death, and the next moment his hope and future were restored. 
I'm sure at times that grace felt like as much like fetter as much as it felt like a gift.  But whether he understood or not.  Whether he agreed or not.  Jacabo was true to his word.  He was Edmond's man forever. 

There are days when I'm sure I share a thing or two with Jacabo.  Endebted to a stranger (though I'm getting to know him more every day).  Not always understanding the plan (or the point for that matter).  Wearing different hats and having to wait for the whole picture to come together.  But grateful every day for grace.

The moral of the story:  You never know what the violinist is thinking on a Sunday morning.  *wink*  Thank goodness I can still play violin while my mind wanders on these God moments!