Where the Unlikely Electric is Found...

5:58 PM

A Living Art Collage of Redemption

Posted by Heather Arney |

August 23, 2009

"Time can't go backwards, you cannot changed what has happened, but you can change everything else."

I just finished watching what many would call a very "B" rate movie called, "Mom, Dad, and Her," on Lifetime. Before you chuckle, I must say, (as I wipe tears from my eyes), that despite the cheesiness factor of this "made-for-tv film, I feel so incredibly moved, and have so many thoughts swirling in my head....The main word is "redemption." I don't think I have long-winded, poetic and profound, paragraphs ready to leap from my brain on to the pages, or e-pages as the case may be.....but maybe a few thoughts and a few pictures can say what I want to say.

The simple storyline of the film was this: A teenager's parents were divorced when she was young....she is struggling in life and getting into trouble. Her mother calls her father, out of despair, and she is "forced" to go live out in a rural area for the summer with her father and her new "step-mom." The step-mother is played by Melora Hardin, "Jan," the quirky old boss of Michael on The Office. Her role in this movie was glorious, and gloriously simple. The movie was typical - meaning I am sure you could script what the summer in the rural town with the dad and step-mom would look like. The daughter was pretty horrid and dreadful, and ran away and was mean to the father and step-mom...and the step-mom was gracious and loving back. She didn't try to be the girl's mom, or get angry at her for her bad behavior, instead she embraced her. She saw that the girl was broken because of her past, and her parents' failed marriage....the step-mom was gentle and sure, and through her simple kindness was a change agent. Her actions and her love brought forth redemption in this girl's life.

I couldn't even get up to zap my luke-warm coffee or get a tissue for my blubbery face...I just sat there, so incredibly moved by Melora Hardin, in this role. She was a change agent in someone's life because she called out the best in them, she offered hope in the face of hopelessness, she offered grace when it was certainly not the human thing to do. She helped someone see their way through something difficult, by being a presence and by being full of unconditional love. That struck me as exactly what Jesus did, and does, and costantly does in my life. How steady and how sure is the redemptive work of Christ in my life.

It sometimes takes a Lifetime Sunday afternoon movie to remind me of His redemptive nature....I am reminded of how much He is in the business of making old things new....of taking the broken and messed up places within ourselves and creating something beautiful, and using us right where we are at to touch another person. He banishes shame and hurt, and gives us something sweeter and more beautiful. I think sometimes we can barely behold this thing..we don't know how to behold it. Pain can be comfy, and this sweet tasting burst of Hope he offers challenges us to receive it, right in the middle of whatever messiness we are in. Behold it.
I got all inspired..I wanted to be Melora Hardin in her character in that moment. Don't get me wrong...I'm not looking to put myself in her shoes and sign up for the specifics of her life. I can only hope to be half the hope-giver as she was to that teenaged girl.

I think that is one of the reasons I like taking pictures of random, broken down, old stuff...(specific, huh?). If you look at my "Creating in V-town" album on facebook, it is a glimpse of a photo escapade I had one evening. I took about 72 shots of funky couches and chairs in complete disrepair, that were dumped outside of a closed thrift store. For me, looking at those couches is not in the slightest way, depressing. Instead it evokes total hope and glee inside of me. What is the story of this couch, and what potential does it have? (Don't answer that question...the specific couch was so funky, it deserves to be burned or exploded, cause it was super icky, haha!) But for -analogy sake....what can be done with rusty old yesterday's stuff? It can be re-invented, re-worked, re-created, re-born, re-invested in. I LOVE THE "RE-" WORDS! It's like, TAKE 2, Try again, don't give up, you are rad, and you just haven't fully realized it yet.

What else has "-re" in it? REBIRTH. RENEWAL.

It is my prayer that God could use my little humble self in great way in others' life, by simply being a hope-bearer - pointing the way to Christ's gift of new life - helping people to see that He does super cool things with rusty people...He can fine tune and recreate.
Here's to thriftstore sweaters that get a second life, vintage furniture - round 2, and the redemption of our hearts and lives.....

I want to be a living art collage of redemption. Does that make sense? It did in my head.

The few pictures above fit my mood right now - shots I took 2 years ago when on a retreat up in the woods and mountains...simplicity. :)


Pilgrim said...

Love it. Love you. Am going to find the movie.

Heather Arney said...

Thanks Nicole! That means alot. :) Yes, you should totally stock down the movie somehow. I'm sure amazon or some lesser known .com would be happy to sell it to you for a few bucks. :) Funny thing is, I totally thought about tracking it down myself to buy it, ha! ;)

matthew christopher davidson said...

it's better if you separate the root word from the prefix with a colon. you know, like re:birth, re:generation, re:do, re:take, re:surrection, re:yourlastemail.

it's kind of like how writing becomes more hip, god-inspired and trendy when you don't use any capitalization. ;)

Heather Arney said...

Matthew Christopher Davidson, (good long name), or should i say matthew christopher davidson :)

Yea, the "re's" with the colon are visually dynamic....
Yet the last thing I am going for is faking trendy and hip and God-inspired, with no caps....

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