I’ve spent most of the weekend camped out on my couch (except for a wonderful stint down to the Jeffersonville outlet malls, which was very successful in many facets). Because of this, i’m running out of movies to watch. Friday was Center Stage, last night was the Increadibles and this morning was the Emporer’s new groove. But JJ joined me for Rudy this afternoon, which is the movie that prompted this post.
Why can I not get through the movie without crying at the end? I mean… it’s football. I’ve never played football nor have i got the crap beat out of me as part of a “team” but this movie contains something that grips me. (*Sidenote: ever since hearing Donald Miller’s talk on Story, i seem to analyze my movies in a different way. I suggest the same for yourself). I usually start crying right when the older guy who tends the stadium yells at Rudy for quitting with one practice left, then the tears intensify as all the 1st string players turn in their jerseys so that Rudy can play in “their spot”. Buy the time Rudy’s dad gets off the bus and the stadium is chanting his name it’s all out emotionalism. And when he gets in and then even gets the sack??? Ah.
But I couldn’t stop wondering- why does this matter to me? Because Rudy worked so hard and he “deserved it”? No, i’m pretty against the “you deserve this” theology. We work hard because that’s what you’re supposed to do, not because of the reward on the other end, which i believe is the root of our selfishness. So is it because i wanted Rudy to “prove himself”? I don’t think so, although his older brother did drive me crazy with his complete lack of support. But I think he proved something just by leaving town, so it had nothing to do with stepping onto the field.
My best guess at what jerks my tears is the sense of love and support that Rudy finally felt. He fought for attention and affection for most of his time growing up. It’s not that no one really believed in him, but just that no one really saw him. His dad looked right through him, Notre Dame ignored him for several consecutive semesters, and then the new coach barely knew his name. But with the last game, Rudy saw that change. Players appreciated him for who he was and stepped in for him. His parents came to the game and they were proud of him. The stadium janitor worked through some of his pain and bitterness through Rudy.
And all Rudy really did was pursue that which he loved to do the most. I don’t want to make light of his hard work- getting the grades, living in a locker room, living out of a singular duffel bag, seeing his ex-girlfriend with his brother, getting the crap beat out of him every day… that’s not the life i’m wishing on anyone. So Rudy worked really hard- but ultimately he was doing what he loved and needed to do. He was being the person he was created to be, and suddenly people were able to see that and support him.
So, to me it wasn’t a love story of man and football, or small guy doing great things. for me, it was a wonderful story of what happens when people want each other to succeed. when people are supportive, loving and encouraging. it’s less about the individual than it is about the community in which s/he lives.
I read all the posts my friend cara puts on her blog and i’m extremely woeful of my lack of things to post. i had a good weekend… anniversary celebration with jj on friday, wedding with friends from ou on saturday, pizza and cards with my folks saturday night, breakfast with one of my youth kids on sunday AM and lots of napping and lounging today (with an attempt at cinnamon rolls with spelt flour that i believe failed miserably).
a note about the spelt flour. it’s healthy for you. better than wheat- not as heavy. but you can’t used it in a cinnamon roll recipe or anything that in general is designed to be unhealthy for you at its core. muffins? maybe. a good wheat bread? sure. cinnamon rolls? no. just accept the sugary fact along with the melted butter and sugary goodness that you intended when you decided upon cinnamon rolls as your baked good.
i wish i had more thoughts. i might later. i’ve been pondering palm sunday today and wondering why i feel like i missed something… maybe after some reflection i’ll post again.
aleena was born at 1 am today- sharing a birthday with my mom. everything went ok, sarah’s doing good. i can’t wait till i get to visit with this new little niece of mine!! i must say a highlight of the whole experience is my saintly mother-in-law and her sheer love for sarah and this new grandbaby. it’s so exciting to see. its very different from the grandma marj love that i’ve seen thus far… it’s hard to explain. but it’s beautiful.
it’s also straight up crazy that this thing, that for 9 months has only been an idea- “the baby”- is now a person. she’s got personality, she’s got life of her own. crazy. now, when it comes to the nature/nurture debate, i seem to fall pretty heavy on the nurture side- i feel we are products of our environment. but yet little aleena is not just some lifeless piece of clay ready to be molded, though surely her experiences will shape her. she’s very much a distinct creation of God’s own work. amazing.
i just sent kristy an im yesterday asking if we really can imagine things we’ve never seen. for instance, when i call people for work i try to imagine what they look like. i was imagining one man yesterday and then it struck me that he looked distinctly like larry hays, a friend from 7th grade. i thought, “is it even possible for me to create in my head an image that has not been influenced by the other things i know?” i don’t think it is. or, if it is possible, it’s a gift, which is probably why i’m jealous of most artists.
but the crazy thing is, God does this on a daily, if not hourly basis. he creates, not just based on what he knows, but on what he wants to give. wow, i’m having a deja vu moment, because that phrase came to me in a dream earlier this week and it’s just coming to me. crazy. but back to it. God doesn’t have Larry Hays on the brain when he creates Aleena. He creates Aleena based upon himself. isn’t that phenomenel?
i feel the need to explain my deja vu phrase, “God creates, not just based on what he knows, but on what he wants to give.” its like, God’s creativity isn’t hindered because he’s made 867 children this way, so the next one will be like it. God doesn’t fall prey to the “its just the way it is”. instead, he loves and creates because it’s what he does. not in the “i don’t want to give you a nose, so i won’t” kind of way, but more like when a little child paints a picture and i suddenly have blonde hair instead of red, because that’s what the kid wants to give me. it’s how s/he sees me. it’s like an unhindered view of true beauty. that’s what God has.
man, i wish i had an artistic spirit.