Saturday, March 22, 2008

Resurrecting the Calloused Realists in Love

I recently saw a Facebook group entitled: "Disney gave me a false expectation of love" and started laughing. How many of us grew up with those movies. Did it really do that much damage? Somehow I don't look at Aladdin and think that that is what messed up my love life but apparently others think so. Anyway, I recently watched the Disney movie "Enchanted" and this perhaps was Disney's rebuttal to all of those who blame Cinderella for their love life. In the movie the idealistic Princess is saved by her Prince and they instantly fall in love only to have it brutally interrupted by the old hag (the Prince's mom, the Queen) sending the Princess to NYC so that no one can ascend to the throne. The Princess discovers, like this facebook group, that our world is indeed pessimistic to love and that "fairy tale" endings supposedly never happen anymore. We are indeed "calloused realists in love."

Today is Resurrection Sunday and for 1.4 Billion Christians this is the day that defines all other days. It is the happily ever after moment that we all hope for. In a world filled with darkness and death, on that Sunday morning 2,000 + years ago death itself was overturned and Jesus rose from the dead with the shocking promise of a happily ever after. Someday. It is no wonder then that people who mock the resurrection accuse people who believe in it of escapism. They accuse Christians of living a fairy tale. The resurrection is no different then Enchanted; it's just man's way of trying to deal with the haunting depravity of sin. The calloused realists are in full swing, letting us know there is no happily ever after.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer of the Lord of the Rings, was constantly bombarded with people who stated that his stories offered his readers a sort of "escape" from the hardships of reality. He apparently would get rather perturbed with always being asked about this. His response was pretty telling: "Everything depends on that from which one is escaping. We view the flight of a deserter and the escape of a prisoner very differently. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home."

Philip Yancey continued this thought: "If I take Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like a lava beneath the crust of daily life." (Jesus I Never Knew: 220)

Every generation has its fairy tales, no matter how scientific we all have some sort of idealistic fantasy. We all realize that there has got to be something better then this and if you don't then I challenge you to listen to any of the three remaining Presidential candidates. They believe it to. Yet, like that facebook group, we have the calloused people chanting for us to join their ranks. Reminding us that love never ends in happily ever after. Prince Charming turns into a fat, beer-bellied, leaving the toilet-seat up, jerk who rips you of all your dreams. Yet, Easter tells a different story. There is a happy ending. This isn't all there is. We can go home.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:3)

~Happily Forever After~


Judy said...

How grateful I am for the "happily ever after" that Jesus has provided for me! Great post Matt!

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14