This may take awhile to piece together, and at this moment, I am not confident I can express all that is transpiring in my mind and soul as clearly as I hope...so clearly that you can experience it as well, but I now begin my feeble effort, so let's just say that if you are able to understand what I am writing God has intervined on my behalf and yours as well;)
Let's begin with the movie I just viewed as I soaked my aching back in the warm waters of our whirl pool, LOVE HAPPENS, a new release starring Jennifer Aniston and some guy I didn't recognize....a tear-jerker/romance featuring no sex, nudity, or inuendo to my pleasant surprise, although it did sport some unfortunate language on occassion, but enough with the movie review. The premise was this man had experienced a great tradgedy, losing his wife in a car accident, and being a psychologist had made a career out of helping others face similar tradgedies by authoring a book detailing how he had moved on to experience a full life in spite of loss and speaking at related conferences all while harboring the secret that he had never truely dealt with his own loss. As the plot unfolds, Burke Ryan, Phd. meets Eloise the florist who in time discovers his secret hypocrasy and helps him finally accomplish what he had never been able to do on his own...find peace in tradgedy and live as if he'd gained rather than lost in life. I'm sharing this with you not because I found it to be exceptional entertainment or expressing a valuable lesson, in fact, being an individual who has encountered a few lemons in life, although not the same ones focused on by the movie, I found it rather misleading and was disturbed that an individual who had not yet been able to come to terms with the events of life might after seeing the film attempt to manufacture the false sense of well-being that the movie sells. All of this impacted me because I have lost in many ways and believing with my whole heart that I have only gained, I set out each day hoping to have the opportunity to share the joy and peace I have been blessed to experience even in tragedy with others who are suffering or who have suffered. In effect, I related on a certain level with, Mr.Burke Ryan, Phd., not only as a fellow sufferer but as an author and hopeful speaker. Even to the point that recently, in an attempt to avoid the perception of hypocracy in my own story, I chose to wean off the anti-depressant Zoloft that I had been placed on immediately following my stroke being that many timr the brain-damage caused by stroke impairs the part of the brain that manages moods and such things. I want to be clear that I am not expressing an anti-medication view-point because as a special educator, I have witnessed many individuals achieve successes that might otherwise have been unrealized with the support of medication, but I did want to avoid providing any nay-sayer who heard my story the opportunity of proclaiming that the joy and peace I live as a disabled stroke survivor might have a source other than the love of Jesus Christ because I know deep in my heart that it springs from nothing other than the relationship I enjoy with my creator through the love, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus. Personally, I needed to prove that I didn't need Zoloft to maintain my joy because Jesus has me covered, and I needed to ensure that my witness did not in any manner become tainted, so that no one missed out on the awesome treasure I have to share with anyone who is interested in life-changing treasures:) Alright, those are the levels on which I related to the plot, but now, moving on to the misleading message that I feel the film projected. Mr. Burke's's main speaking point was the old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, which communicates that finding sweetness in the sour moments of life is something we as individuals can accomplish on our own, but as I mentioned, even this secular film was able to identify the farce in this statement by emphasizing Mr. Burke's inability to manufacture sweetness in his own sitution, but what I did find to be on point was that love is what finally did enable Ryan Burke, Phd. to overcome the tragic events in his life. Although the healing love I know and hope for you to know, as well, does not manifest as a quirky and attractive florist, but rather as a poor, Jewish carpenter whose love runs so deep for each of us that he chose to pay the punishment for our individual wrong acts in hopes that we would accept his gift and choose to be his friend and follower for life.
WOW! I hope you hear this with your heart and soul coming from a woman who can inventory the tangible losses she has experienced that I truely have only gained through all the tragedy in my life. Unlike what Ryan Burke was offering his audiences, what I am hoping to pass on to you is REAL and EFFECTIVE! Although I am totally human and imperfect and close inspection of my life would undoubtedly reveal that as a fact. I guarentee that the joy, peace, and contentment I experience in this life are hypocracy-free, and the greatest thing is that its available to you, too!