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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Lady in the Water: Theology and Hollywood

I was watching the movie Lady In The Water tonight and was very intrigued by the ideas the underlined the plot. I'll use the characters Cleveland and Story to start. These are two people who are very different when looking at their background. Cleveland is a son of men and is very bashful. He has a stuttering problem and runs a local hotel. He does not believe in mystical things. He is kind of a real life guy as the world would say. Story is a narf. She is a character from myth, which ends up not being a myth at all. Spiritual implications run rampant in these two. Cleveland usually has a stuttering problem. The funny thing is that when Cleveland is around Story, he stops stuttering. Story is part of an effort for the better of mankind. We see this in the scene when she finds his diary and discovers his sadness and his lack of seeing his purposes. Cleveland however is...well...he is just part of mankind. He doesn't have much hope I see here the importance of Story in the life of Cleveland. When i think about this, I think of the Lord's prayer. Jesus said, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is heaven." I think of this passage and think, this could be a little insight into what it means. Your kingdom come may be what this girl story may have been reflecting in my mind. I see that God followers are able to bring the kingdom to earth. God's will is without a doubt done in heaven. so why not have it done here on earth. It is a pretty simple concept. Bring God glory. It also means bring the message of God's plan and purpose onto earth. Story continually tells him he has a purpose, and eventually Cleveland gets the point to search for his purposes. He keeps getting it wrong as well as the others who discover Story and her purposes.

One funny thing is that Story herself is even unsure. We see later in the movie that she greatly questions her purpose becuase she discovers that she is like a queen among her kind, a Madam Narf. She greatly questions that she could be a Madam Narf. She say that the other Narfs used to laugh at her. She says that she does not want to be a Madam Narf and that she is scared. Here is the kicker, CLEVELAND ENCOURAGES HER. WOW!!! How could that be. Cleveland was the one who is filled with hurt. Even at the point he is encouraging her, he is still searching for his own purpose. isn't it crazy. It's almost as if growth is meant to be done together. Growth done together is not a currently accepted concept. We keep thinking that we need the guidance of the people who got it; the "entirely sanctified" people. But the problem is is that here on earth, there is not perfection. There is good, but not perfection. Rob Bell said that perfection would mean that change is not needed. The only one not needing change is God. We however are good since Christ died for the entire earth. What is needed is growth, change, evolution. The good things of nature change. There are animals that are good creatures, it should be said that they are great creatures. But they have always throught the centuries changed to match their habitat, or to just exploit their better attributes. What I am trying to say is that creation changes, and we change; WE GROW. And we grow together since every one of us is changing. Cleveland and Story are growing in their own ways and they grow together. They carry each others burdens.

Cleveland also ends up being the Healer. What a great concept. This is a man that is ever so wounded by his past. He is so unsure. He doesn't think he has a purpose. But in the end he serves the greatest purpose of all. Without him the cause would be lost. He even serves his purpose while still not knowing what it was. He probably still had questions and hurt and walls of disbelief. But he is given the task. Despite his still trying to find faith, he is being used as what common Christians think only Christians could be used. When he heals her, he is confronting his own weakness and then is able to heal her. It's a lead with a limp mentality.

A major theme of this movie is purpose. So many characters here have a purpose. Some don't see purpose. They don't even believe in the "Fairy Tale" or "Bed Time Story". Some however believe right away. It's not that no one wants to believe these things, they do, it's just that they are behind walls of experience. But they all experience this thing together and all believe in the end.

Herb is an interesting character. He is the writer. The man with an amazing message that will change the course of history. What does this sound like. What makes sound completely like the Bible is that Story tells him the kid who heres these words will grow up and change the world himself. He gets killed becuase of the good he produces. But the legacy of good lives on.

All is connected. This is one thing that Story said. The scene where Cleveland discovers his purpose, the man who's opinion is highly respected is saying he wants to believe. I highly recommend this movie to any Christian, or anyone wanting a little insight into what spirituality is similar too. Throw away those ideas you get when you here about the kid who will read the Cookbook and change the world. You know, the ones that say, "oh no, the anti-christ". I have a hard time seeing how bringing the Kingdom of God would be the mark of one who will be the one who stands in opposition of Holiness. Let this thing be spiritual. Everything is spiritual. You just have to look at it and apply it. Don't be someone who so readily separates spiritual from the real world, because that cannot be done. Take these ideas into your body of believers and your own lives.