May. 26, 2019

The Neat Little Package

“May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22

It would be nice if life could be this neat little package that is both sweet and exciting to unwrap. We like to think life is easy, happy and stress-free. We like to believe in “happily-ever-after” stories. We want, so badly, for love to last and for life to shine. When it doesn’t, we experience disappointment at a deep level. With harsh realities comes a deeper love and understanding for those we meet struggling with their own disappointment and pain.

The movie “Hope Floats” is one about the topsy-turvy world of life. It tells how one can go from beauty queen to jilted and abandoned wife in a matter of years. Years that seem to flash quickly by her. The movie saturates itself with betrayal, difficult family dynamics, Alzheimer’s disease, and teaches how failing to let go costs us the beauty of moving on.

The critics hated it referring to the movie as a “sappy greeting card, shallow and loose.” I think we can learn a lot about life in a two-hour movie even though the story is fictional. Being dumped. Being bullied. Being brave enough to stray from the fairy tale and into real life. Life with all its warts and all its beauty.

Life that includes death. Life that embraces a Plan B. Life that sees the value of taking in abandoned children. Life that frees us from chaos when we are ready to grasp simplicity.

Is my blog a review of a twenty-year old movie? Absolutely not. It’s a testimony that even the sappiest and least applauded movie replayed at just the right time in my life reminded me that there is beauty despite pain. It reminds us that hope floats when we stop pressing it down, forcing it into our self-designed and self-defined box.

When we feel we are drowning, hope serves as a life preserver. Hope lifts us above the floodwaters as we float to the top with newfound strength, courage and resolve. Sink or swim? It’s up to us.