Monday, June 24, 2013

Noah and Mighty Joe Young

 A memory came to mind that I haven’t thought of in years. Many months after my son died, my husband and I went to the theater to see the 1998 version of Mighty Joe Young. It was the first movie we went to see after Bryan’s death and we found it quite enjoyable…until the very end. I’m sorry if I ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but at the end, there is a scene where a mother watches what she believes are her son’s last moments as he falls to the ground from the top of a fiery Ferris wheel in the arms the giant gorilla who risks his own life to save the boy’s. After they hit the ground, she races to the lifeless body of the gorilla and pulls her living son from Joe’s arm. She got her son back…and I started to cry. A few minutes later, as the credits rolled and our fellow movie goers walked past me as I openly wept in my husband’s arms right there in the middle of the movie theater, I didn’t care what they thought.

I didn’t care when they rushed their children past me as they told them that they didn’t know why “that lady” was crying and that it was none of their business. I didn’t care because that mother in the movie got her little boy back and I was missing mine so terribly. I loved my son and my tears were the only expression of that love I had left. While they rushed their children out of the theater, I mourned for mine and I didn’t care who saw me or what they thought. It’s the only time in my life when I can honestly say I couldn’t have care less what people thought of me.

This memory brought to mind a biblical character who, for me, is the epitome of a holy apathy of public approval – Noah. Think about it. He spent decades building a football stadium-sized boat on dry land far away from the seas and oceans. He didn’t care what his friends and neighbors said or thought, day after year after decade. And why did he bring this public humiliation on himself and his family? Because God told him to build an ark and bring at least two of every kind of animal on board to save them from a flood God was going unleash in 120 years!!! They probably told him he was crazy, a religious nut even. And he didn’t care. Why? Maybe for the same reason I didn’t care in the movie theater – love.

Noah loved the Lord. He was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. (Genesis 6:9) He sought the Lord with all his heart and the Lord spoke to him. Through Noah’s obedience, God saved man and animal alike to carry on after the flood. He provided for and nurtured Noah and his family in a faithful journey that began long before a raindrop fell and long after the clouds dried up and the rainbow glistened. Love is powerful. It can make us courageous and help us to find strength we didn’t know we had. Love moves us past our fears and walks alongside us to comfort and befriend us. And one of God’s most amazing gifts is that we can know how to love because he loved us first – he showed how. (1 John 10) He created us in his image and taught us what that means by being our example in Christ Jesus and then redeeming us through his sacrifice and rising from the dead, freeing us to be an example of his love to those around us.

As God presents me with new opportunities to share my faith, to tell the story of his love and grace for me and you, I hope my love for him will override my concern for public opinion. I hope that I can be more like Noah and follow God’s plan for me no matter how silly it may appear or how long it takes to come to fruition. Even though I want to impress and be accepted by others, because what human being doesn’t, I hope I will love God more than I care about how it looks to the world of people around me.

1 comment:

Common Household Mom said...

"Love moves us past our fears and walks alongside us to comfort and befriend us." Yes, yes, yes.