Day by day
Happy MLK Day and, if you are lucky enough to be home like I am, I hope you are enjoying your day off.
In fact, this has turned out to be a very nice four-day weekend for me, because we had a “snow day” on Friday due to the ice storm here in flyover country. I stayed home for two days puttering around and re-organizing drawers and shelves and closets.
By Sunday morning the storm was pretty much over. I went to church and was surprised by how many people were there. The OM said they were probably stir crazy and just wanted to get out of the house. Well, maybe.
After church we went to lunch and then to the hospital to see the wee babes and their parents who were kangarooing as they do every day (even during the ice storm).
We watched Sully (2016) over the weekend and liked it a lot. Tom Hanks was just right as the remarkable pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson River without a single loss of life back in 2009. I think the movie could have used a little more backstory, but I won’t quibble. It was good.
I cannot say the same for the much heralded Manchester By the Sea (2016) which I did not like.
Bad things happen in life, terrible things, but this movie seems to say that all of life is just a long, sad, hopeless journey and then you die. The characters in this movie are uniformly unable to express their feelings, much less talk without use of the F-word in every sentence. After the movie the OM and I both wondered what the writer/director was trying to say. I just didn’t get this movie.
Well, today I am going to enjoy my day off as the temperatures continue to climb and the ice melts. And I will continue to believe that life has meaning.
The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God’s things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak — even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. He speaks, I believe, and the words he speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys. We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music. Sometimes we avoid listening for fear of what we may hear, sometimes for fear that we may hear nothing at all but the empty rattle of our own feet on the pavement. But be not affeard, says Caliban, nor is he the only one to say it. “Be not afraid,” says another, “for lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He says he is with us on our journeys. He says he has been with us since each of our journeys began. Listen for him. Listen to the sweet and bitter airs of your present and your past for the sound of him.
–Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey