Saturday, April 9, 2011

Always watch the movie first.

My mom is channel surfing, flipping between a lawyer show and War of the Worlds. Having read the book first, I am a little irked by altered expectations. But the little girl, Rachel, she's freaking out and screaming and crying. She's very good, this Dakota Fanning. In the book, Tom Cruise's character didn't have to worry about his kids: they were safe in another town with his wife. Though he has several close encounters with the aliens, he only had himself to worry about. The movie, however, is ten times more stressful. Keeping up the brave face for the kids. Having a plan. Calming that screaming girl in the backseat. [She's very good, this Dakota Fanning!]

I've been thinking about forgiveness, and the challenge I'm discovering as I try and explain the difference His forgiveness has made in my life. Some people have really great before/after stories, you know? Like before they did this horrible thing, and they felt so guilty about it, and then they found God, and His forgiveness made all the difference. We best understand the depth of His love when we understand the depth of our wrongs.

But I worry [perhaps needlessly] that there is no dramatic change in my life. Having been "brought up in the faith", the line between before and after is a little fuzzier. Even though I have sinned, and messed up, and done awful things, my offenses are not the kind of felt-evil that would offend someone who didn't value God's law. My testimony is real to me, very real, but to my amusement, I'm wondering how to show my friends what a bad person I am, and how much I need saving.

I hope you didn't think those ideas were connected. War of the Worlds and talking about forgiveness. They're not connected, by the way. But I guess I can try to connect them, if that would be more stylistically considerate. Nope. Too lazy. As you can see I'm falling to pieces! It's been a busy week. I don't know where my standards are. That is all, really. I wanted to say something, just to say it. Forgive me.

Oh! Veritas Forum. A deep, genuine, smiling thank you to those who came - from a purely selfish point of view, I felt so loved and affirmed to see those faces, I now understand this concept of "thank you for your support." I did, I felt supported, thank you so very much. The event did not end up being what I had expected at all. On the one hand, I was the teeniest bit disappointed: none of my URI friends came. Only 400 seats were filled, and the Christian community was more well-represented than the URI students were. On the other hand, after the event I sat on the stage and talked about Jesus with two non-believing acquaintances: genuine, sincere, earnest seekers. God's doing a work in their hearts, it's a freaky sight to behold! Also, I was emceeing, and so, I was horrifically fearful of doing or saying anything that would detract from Dr. Guinness and his message, because I am so wont to do such a thing. Self-absorbed and all that. Thankfully, they gave me a script, and I stuck to the script, and did very little awkward embellishing, and read the thing stammering like a spelling bee rookie, and it was fine. One of these days I will wake up a competent public speaker. [When? When?!]

God's plans are not our plans, His ways are not are ways. It was an encouraging night, and a decided success. Thank you for praying.

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