Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm Not Cinderella

A most intriguing dialogue appeared in the movie, “Then She Found Me.” The main character, April, tries to reconcile with Frank, her love interest whom she hurt deeply. He approaches, non-committal, somewhat hostile. She is penitent. What follows is an excerpt that speaks total truth to the reality of intimate relationship. Please read my concluding comments at the end of this post.

Frank: Well… hello.
April: Thank you for seeing me.
Frank: Well, you’re standing between me and my front door. It’s literally the least I could do.
April: I miss you. Do you miss me?
Frank: What do you want, April?
April: I wanna look at you. For a long, long time.
Frank: What else?
April: I know what I did to you. To you in particular. A worst nightmare kind of thing.
Frank nods agreement.
April: I knew that. Even at the time, I knew that.
Frank: What else?
April: I’ll do it again. I will. I’ll hurt you… again and again. Not like that. You’d have to leave me if I hurt you like that. If we were together, you would leave me if I hurt you like that again, wouldn’t you?
Frank: Yes… yes I would.
April: Good. But I’ll hurt you in other ways, little ways. I won’t mean to but I will and sometimes I will mean to.
Frank: This is quite an offer you’ve worked out.
April: (undaunted) You’ll hurt me too, you know. You’ll hurt me and change on me. You might even leave me after you promise you won’t – how about that?
Frank: I wouldn’t.
April: But you might.
Frank: But I wouldn’t.
April: But…. (she nods assertively) You might.
Frank: Yeah. I guess I might.
April: So?
Long pause. They search each other, totally transparent.
Frank: Oh, god.
April: I know. I’m sorry.
Cue song:
I’m gonna let you down, I know that now.
Make you cry, I know I will.
And why should you believe
I would never leave or that I love you still

For all the bye and bye, and hard as we try
the bough breaks and the cradle falls.
For everything I do that will tear at you
let me say, “I’m sorry” now.

So you can sing your song
you can get it wrong
you can kiss the rock of ages
and in your wildest dreams
you might see between
the liars and the sages

You can walk a while down the mystery mile
You can beat the drums of freedom
And in love and war, through the rush and roar
you just called ‘em like you see ‘em

performed by Shawn Colvin

We enter marriage with starry eyed, romantic promises. We mean them completely. We make a solemn vow before God and witnesses. We commit. It is this commitment—not emotion, not romance—that most ensures longevity and solidity of relationship.

But human beings are broken. We embody pain. We act out.
By God's grace, we also love. We are forgiven. We heal.

Marriage is unlike anything other relationship. It is a vow but it is also a symbol. Husband and wife are to love one another - as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her. Assuming in advance that I will hurt my spouse, that my spouse might leave... this is not loving as Christ loved. It is human reasoning and total truth about the human condition.

But God... in his great love... made a better way.

In the April 8 post of Oswald Chambers' devotional "My Utmost for His Highest," he states:
Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself... we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.

So in my daily life - how do I live? Yes. I will make mistakes. Yes. I should say I'm sorry. But why not begin to draw on this power, the life of Christ, and adopt His attitude? Phillipians 2 teaches me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. I am not to look only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others. I am to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus: who was in very nature, God; but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, a servant, humbled, obedient to the point of death.

And even more practical to my every day life, I am to do everything without complaining or arguing because I am working for God.

No, I'm not Cinderella, waiting for someone to come and take me away from all this pain, to make my life perfect and me a princess. I'm not Cinderella. I am the embodiment of the life of Christ. I can help relieve the pain of others, I can help make their life a little easier, I can help them understand that they are a child of the King. I can be a servant.

If I love my spouse like that... what a rebirth of love ... I become part of the miracle of new life... What a great thought to take into Resurrection Sunday.

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