He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Looking In from the Outside

Feb. 14, 2013 11:19am

A Facebook friend posted a greeting for Valentine's: "Happy Valentine's to all those who are taken, are almost taken, taken for granted, waiting to be taken, assumed to be taken, and those who aren't taken seriously." Wow, that covers pretty much everyone, almost, except those who are "taken for a ride"! Lol !! Whatever category you may be in, sure thing make it a happy one !!

 My favorite catch-all phrase is, "whatevers", and my children find it so annoyingly sarcastic my older daughter suggested I change it to something else. So I came up with "sure thing", and it works wonders!! hahaa!! For a Valentine's Day movie, try watching something out of the ordinary, or rather, something extraordinary. Try a love triangle, with an underlying theme of macabre. Ugh, I don't mean the over-used romantic, vampire movies - they aren't extraordinary anymore, nor macabre to many. Try something more up-to-date, a 2010 movie for instance. Hahaaa, ok, two years old isn't up-to-date. I kind of think it's a new movie because I have never heard of it until we watched it last weekend.

Workers clearing the snow in front of the restaurant right next to the library when we came out from.

 It was February 8th, Blizzard Nemo was hitting at night, the snow had started falling, it was past 5pm and we knew the library would close at 7pm. Of course, it was already dark as the sun sets at 4:30pm in winter. My older daughter suggested we borrow some movies as we might really get holed up in this blizzard for a day or two, or longer. I called just to make sure they were still open and yes, they were, but only until 6pm. So, we hurriedly bundled up and trudged in the snow flurry. Woot, the falling snow was pretty! I had bought the last box of matchsticks I found at our local pharmacy cum sundry shop, had bought all sorts of bread at the supermarket to last us for days, just in case we couldn't cook if the lights went off and the water and gas lines were interrupted. In short, I was pretty much all-geared-up for that blizzard assault, after our past experiences with Hurricane Irene, and the more recent Hurricane Sandy to whom many people lost loved ones and properties - property and emotional damages and liabilities that North East residents, especially New Yorkers, still suffer through to this day. Many of us city dwellers were caught with our pants down. Water entered some people's homes when they are not even near the water line, trees crashed into the homes of some, rudely intruding into their well-furnished living rooms or cozy bedrooms in the middle of the night. Some of us had our basements flooded and a cluster of about a hundred flooded homes were razed down by fire due to short-circuited power lines. Not to mention an explosion of a substation of Con Edison, the power supply contractor of New York City, brought a good part of the business center Manhattan, to darkness, for many hours. Apparently, only blizzards used to hit this Northeastern coast of the US in the past, not tropical storms. Irene and Sandy had been largely unexpected and many people were caught unprepared, some didn't even have workable flashlights. Having just come out fresh from the huge predicament of Sandy, these metropolis dwellers have become wary and went into preparation over-drive for Nemo. This time the bread and majority of frozen food went on sale in our supermarket, the match stick section in the shelves was emptied, the petrol stations upstate ran out of gas even 12 hours before Nemo came, and our neighborhood ones got emptied hours before! I had bought three packs of bottled water two weeks ago myself, when it was on sale. They jack up the price when it's emergency time like that, so, I had become wiser myself!
From the outside looking in. Who's in the fish bowl, we or them? - I find this still from the movie, "Never Let Me Go", symbolic of the whole story.

 Anyway, back to the movie I am suggesting for you to watch. Yes, it was one of the movies we got for that blizzard Nemo weekend. I picked it from our local library, along with six others, more because of the heavy-weight names on it - Keira Knightly, Andrew Garfield and Carrey Mulligan. But I've never heard of it before. Either it's a super-flop or... well, these big names won't waste their time making this movie if it's not something. Ok, for mega-spoilers here it is: It's a love-triangle of a common kind, you know, childhood friends, classmates, even dorm-mates. Nothing is said on the DVD cover about what it's all about and the word is never mentioned in the movie. It keeps you guessing until almost half-time of the movie. My daughter says it's similar to a movie she had watched before but this one is set more romantically and presented charmingly - in the idyllic English countryside with English characters with very thick English accents. Now you smell English rose? Think Valentine's when there are no parents, no community, no aging,... eh, sounds other-worldly. It's a story within a story, within a story; with the last story probably being more about what it does to your own soul. It's probably unreal, that's why I tended to dismiss it after I have watched it. But I wanted my younger son to watch it for social awareness so I sat with him the next day to watch it again. He found it boring, he didn't wait for the children to become adults. It was too slow for his gamer generation. As for me, after I watched it again, I couldn't shake it off. This movie has three characters. And as I already mentioned, it has three layers of stories. And the impact of the movie is probably in that it mentions the soul being missing but God and spirit are totally not even mentioned, well, as in most movies, anyway, but it matters most in this movie. It is very much open-ended, as there was no solution to the problem they faced. In fact, only if we acknowledge that there are really three characters in this story - us, our spirit and God - will there be a resolution to the story. But as it is, the story presumes our spirit and God don't come into the picture.

 Ever wondered why there is slavery in the Bible and why the societies of the Old and New Testaments accepted it, or why even Jesus never spoke against it? Slavery had always been part of human history, in any culture. Why? I tend to think that if God abolished it we will never understand the spiritual slavery that we are in. The New Testament says we are slaves of sin; we become slaves of the sin we obey. Or we become slaves of the master we obey, be it God or the evil one. (That's why the Apostle Paul was a self-confessed bond-slave of Christ, and he's one servant who truly loves the Master who thoroughly loves him.) If slavery is totally eradicated from human experience how will we ever be able to understand our being in a state of spiritual slavery to sin? Before the Messiah Jesus came God sent "types" - the sacrifice of bulls and lambs and goats, the sacrifice of Isaac who was replaced by the sacrifice of a ram, etc. Because we had the "types" in the Old Testament we are able to understand the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus did in behalf of all of us to set us free from the slavery of sin. And yet, many of us miss it because we refuse to face the issue. It's pretty much the same with this movie.

 Now back to the movie. Will humanity get to this level of barbarism? Or are we already there? Brutal crimes against women, abortions and human trafficking are just some of the crimes of humanity that have wrought the recent outcry of a few. What more evil under the sun have we not uncovered?Talking about slavery, I tend to think this is the ultimate kind. A love triangle set in the time of the gladiators? Or the Hunger Games? The brutality and macabre are subtle. Who has no soul? The chicken and goats in a farm? The farmed or the farmer? This is one love story that must be watched by all, even just once. Then probably it will make for a happy Valentine's for all of us.

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D