God in tragedy

People who know me really well know that I love tragic movies. If there is a guaranteed way to turn me off to a movie is to take a tragedy and force a happy ending on the end. There are so many movies that should be tragedies but everyone in Hollywood fears that there movie won’t sell if they don’t wrap it up in a happy ending. What crap!

I’m so bad at wanting a tragedy that when I watch a movie that is indeed a tragedy, I almost can’t help but let out a victorious “YES!”

I’ve often thought about why I like a good tragedy but have had difficulty putting a fairly clear emotion into words. The following quote from this post at the Internet Monk blog touches on one of the key reasons I like a tragedy:

“Ever go to a church website these days? Or look at a promotional publication or ad for a church that wants to grow? (I am starting to get angry, on cue, at the mention of the phrase “church growth.” It encapsulates almost everything vile.) Ever look at the pictures on the banner? Young people. Everywhere. Healthy. Gorgeous. Laughing. Children. Teenagers. College kids. Soccer Moms. NASCAR dads. Healthy senior adults.

Listen to me: This is a damned lie. It’s an evil illusion. You aren’t seeing humanity when you look at such a scrapbook of lies. You are seeing a selection. Models. Ads. Manipulative images to distort for reasons that are never openly stated. We are, sometimes, in places and at times, those beautiful people. But we are the people in the cemeteries, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, clinics, bars, dirty hotels, filthy restaurants, ghettos, war zones, and a thousand other places that will never show up on your church website picture page unless its some glimpse of a teenager handing a donated t-shirt to a cute urchin on a mission trip. We are the fat people, the people on walkers, the people in dirty clothes, the ugly people, the people who are afraid. We are the good, the bad, the ugly, the lost, the distressed, the unpicturable, the invisible, the forgotten, the lovely, the immoral, and the almost dead.”

I think our true humanity is most visible in the difficult moments of our life. We find out who we really are, what we really care about, what our real priorities are. And when we glimpse this true humanity, we see the reflection of God. God made us in His likeness and I believe that the likeness is most visible when all the veniers are removed and we’re caught in our most vulnerable, most human form.

That’s why I like to see a good tragedy. I like to see the face of God.

Comments are closed.