I watched Crash tonight - it definitely ranks as one of the most intense movies that I have ever seen in my life. Not just because of the very suspenseful, complex plot, but because of the sheer emotional intensity with which it deals with an emotionally intense subject: racism. Imagine the cruel irony in Romeo and Juliet's final embrace ten times over, and you will know how I felt after watching this movie. It pulled on my heart strings for over two hours until they were raw, and when the film finally let go, I felt like there was nothing left in me that was capable of caring about anything.
There is no way that I could attempt to explain the characters, and the way in which their lives intertwine and crash together, because this movie is so true to life; it is so complex that you could never, ever, find the words to explain it all. One of my greatest fears is that no one listens to me. Not that people don't hear me; my fear is that they don't listen. I know that the sound waves that leave my mouth are recorded as tiny vibrations in other people ears, which are in turn interpreted by the mind as intelligible speech - but my fear is that all those fancy words, no matter how impassioned or heartfelt, will fail to make one lick of difference. There are just so many factors, so many stories, hidden desperations, aspirations, and ironies in all of us that I consider myself lucky when I can lay in bed at night and understand myself, let alone someone else.
But I want to understand people. I want to understand why this world is so broken. I want GOD to be like Yoda, who explains to Luke that fear leads to anger, which leads to hate, which leads to suffering, which leads to the Dark Side. I want to understand. I want people to listen. I want cause and effect, because I understand it. I don't understand GOD. In my mind, I know that I can't do everything, I can't save everyone, and I can't make this world un-broken - but in my heart, the longing to make all this world's wrongs right weighs so heavily that I feel sometimes that I might be crushed under it's weight. It hurts.
Don Miller records in his book, Searching For GOD Knows What, a conversation between Larry King and Billy Graham in which King asks, "Why is there so much hatred and suffering in the world? Why are people killing each other? Why is there war? Why?" Billy Graham turns to him and said, "Well, a long time ago there was a garden with a tree in it, and a man named Adam..."
Oh LORD, I know in my heart that this is true, but this same soft heart within me breaks and breaks and breaks for all the victims of racism, capitalism, militarism, and every other -ism that leaves people isolated and destroyed; for the billion people, people who are going to bed tonight hungry, and the countless others going to bed tonight with a desperate longing for their life to mean something. The countless people who are falling in a black abyss of utter despair, drained and numb by a world that is drained and numb. The huddled masses, yearning to be free. The people.
There was a time in my life when I was falling through a black abyss, and there was no one to catch me. But now, as the ground is pulled from under me and I am falling once more, I am not alone - I find myself softly resting in GOD's warm embrace, enveloped by the very Spirit of GOD. It is here that my mind and my heart crash. It is here that the black, white, and the gray fall away, and with a whispered "I love you," I am covered in GOD's redemptive love, floating down like white snow from Heaven above. It is here that Jesus' nail-pierced hand wipes away all of my tears. It is here that I find the strength to daily be the change I want to see in the world. It is here, in the presence of the living, loving, holy GOD, that I find my rest. It is here that I remember that though my heart burns and my tears flow, it will be all right. Amen, peace, and Shalom.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
" Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
"Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." (Psalm 107:4-9)