This is another journal entry for my Christian Spirituality course.
I saw two movies in two days this last week. On Thursday night in our Christian Spirituality class, we viewed part of the "Jesus" film - that time in his life dealing mostly with his public ministry. On Friday night I went with some friends to see the movie, "Taken," with Liam Neeson. It is the story of a father whose daughter is kidnapped, and it chronicles his relentless journey to rescue her. Both of the movies have their share of bad acting, lack of continuity, and special effects that fall short of being truly "special," but none of this really matters in the end; what matters is the story.
What I find most attractive about Jesus is that he came - he didn't stay away. He walked on dirt roads and got hungry and tired and truly seemed to understand the need and fear and desperation of those around him, because he responded with compassion and action instead of judgment or indifference. This is not the picture of a God who is "other" and distant. This is not a God who waits for humans to make the first move. This is not a God whom one cannot touch and encounter, but this nearness poses a problem. The part of the living human named Jesus that is most challenging for me is the mystery of being limited. He could not be in more than one place at one time. He could only respond to what was in front of him. He existed only in a specific time and place. The limited colliding with the limitless must put some constraints on God, and I find it hard to envision and trust a God who has limits. How can a mere person be a true picture of God?
At the end of the movie, "Taken," I sat in my chair for a bit and thought about the character of the young girl. She lied to her father, she disobeyed, she was selfish and immature, she was distant from him, she made some bad choices; she was just like I am many times in relation to Our Father. But that didn't matter to her father. When she was in danger, he sprang into action. He used all his resources and his skills and connections to get to her and to free her. Anyone that opposed him or got in his way was soon paying for that decision. However, the young girl had no idea that her father was turning the world upside down to rescue her - all she knew was that she was in a very bad situation with bad people and that things were getting worse and worse with no end in sight. Her father seemed very distant, and she felt very alone and afraid and unprotected. She was being sold as a slave and it seemed like no one cared, but it wasn't true. It just wasn't true.
To me, Jesus is the personification of God's relentlessness. He came. And he keeps coming. He will never stop pursuing us. He will never give up on us. He will always make a way for us to be rescued. He is always thinking about us with affection and longing. Even when I feel my most alone and forgotten, he is already on his way, working behind the scenes, reaching out to rescue me. The fact that I cannot see Him nor feel Him is not the point. The point is that He will never leave me nor forget about me. Fathers never do.
This is a picture of Peggy's Cove with a random person on the edge.