Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Movie Drenched in Grace

I have finally been to see the movie, A Wrinkle in Time.  I say finally, even though the movie hasn't been out very long.  But it's felt like a struggle to find time to see it, even though I've been looking forward to it--albeit with a certain amount of dread--since plans for it were first announced.

Yesterday I wrote a general review of my experience in this blog post.  But I've also been thinking of the movie in theological terms.  I'd been hearing reviews from people who were disappointed that L'Engle's Christian theology was taken from the story.

I contend that it's there, but you have to be alert.  The most obvious way that the Christian message is still there comes from the plot:  the idea of love as a saving force is very Christian.

Yesterday I wrote this Facebook message:  "I thought that my belief in the saving power of love came from sappy pop songs. Upon further reflection, I am now sure that it came from Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time." Or perhaps my solid Lutheran upbringing. Probably both."

But the more powerful message in the movie is one of grace, even if it's not discussed in that specific theological term.  I found myself weeping at the idea that there's only one Meg Murray--and by extension, only one of any of us.  But more than that, I was weeping at the improbability that any of us would be born exactly the way we are--but it happened.

And then what do most of us do?  We spend much of our lives resisting what makes us wonderful.  We try to change what we perceive as weakness.  We go through our days judging ourselves and everyone around us and we all come up as wanting.

But think of how the world would change if we saw ourselves as perfect, exactly the way we are.  Or to take that idea further--what if what we think of as our imperfections are actually our gifts?

The plot shows Meg again and again that she is more powerful than she knows, that she has strengths that she has yet to perceive, that she is a gift to the world, and that it is her ability to love that is the greatest gift of all.

If that's not a Christian message, then I don't know what is.

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