Remember Claude Frollo? That gypsy (foreigner)-hating, child-manipulating and emotionally-abusing, lust-possessed, uber-religious Judge from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame? That man prayed. A Lot. Remember him pouring out his heart in the dark song “hell fire–desire”? (Yes, not all kids movies are for kids).
How many Frollo’s, to varying degrees, do you know? How many have we caught glimpse of since the US election?
If this election has done anything for us, it’s certainly put a magnifying glass on the blinding hate that can reside in hearts of those who wear crosses or call themselves Christian.
Maybe that’s why Jesus Himself is getting a new name (Revelation 3:12), and why he was the angriest in a Church, NOT some city square (Matthew 21:12).
Before the US election, I heard many Christian-identifying Americans say: “this is a difficult decision.”
How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
Translation: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Jesus) “And if they are a refugee or gay?”… or Muslim or Mexican, or Republican….? Jesus: “Is there something wrong with your ears?”
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
If God really existed, why is the world so wrecked? And if *He is so “good,” how could He let those things happen to me…? (note: I use He/His as pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female ‘identity,’ for lack of a better word, as evidenced throughout the Bible and the human race. 2-pt post here if you like).
Just one look at the suffering and oppression in this world –not just against people, but all creation– and it’s hard not to stumble on belief in a good God. But blaming (or denying) Heaven for all the woe ignores our God-Given freedom to destroy everything just fine on our own.
Hands can hurt flesh, and mouths can speak death, yet we rarely see God grab someone mid sentence, or mid swing. And if He did intervene every time we exercised our freedom, would we really be free?
Our lives have been marked by boundaries: the boundary of the womb, the boundary of the crib, the boundary of the skies… and we push these walls, kicking against the dark in the uterus, climbing out of cribs, dreaming of flight and touching the heavens.
It seems like all boundaries–from the glass ceilings to the Berlin Walls, were meant to be destroyed…
But some of the greatest walls rest in our Hearts.
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:
I believe God can be found anywhere, from the breeze on your skin, to the wisdom of your kids. Sometimes He* makes surprise appearances in a theater or a Justin Bieber track (post coming!) and my latest encounter was during the Speed Racer film.
The more I watched Racer X, the more I thought of Jesus, and the more I watched Speed, the more I thought of myself. Racing is a great metaphor for life–tension, time, passion, power— and every ‘Speed Racer’ can use a ‘Racer X’ in his corner…
You know the story of the guest pastor who visited a church in shabby attire, unshaven and maybe even unshowered? Churchgoers sidestepped him and certainly didn’t seat him at the front, so imagine their surprise/shame when he got up to give the sermon.
It’s a good example of the authenticity of our Love, and while Love shouldn’t be swayed by sight, any flesh and blood wrapped in labels like “Refugee” -“Homeless” -“Foreigner” -“Moocher” -“Homosexual” -“Annoying Friend,” will test our hearts.