Flights of Faith

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Third Act Moment



It took me awhile to get used to this song's video. Now, I cannot get enough of it.

This video touches me for reasons completely unrelated to Brooke Fraser's wondrous voice. Something about the placement of the camera and the honest gazes it receives...just moves me. You see, I imagine God as Supreme Director, Supreme Author. We can act as we please but God controls the true narrative and consistently has the power of the pen or the lens. With God, it's always Act Three.

Most movies and stories can be broken up into three acts. The first is our introduction to the characters with the climax being the identification of the problem (Aladdin is searching for a better life but his poverty prevents him from upward mobility) and ends with an obstacle, potentially one of many (Aladdin getting stuck in the Cave of Wonders). Act Two usually centers around attempts at solving the central problem while also building other themes (Through the personage of Prince Ali, Aladdin finds a "better" life and access to Jasmine). It, too, usually ends with an obstacle (Aladdin being captured and taken to the frozen tundra by Jafar).

Act Three? The beginning of the resolution of the conflict. Lies are exposed. Lines are drawn. We finally learn what's at stake. And the war for lives, hearts, minds, and souls is named and shown, thus, it begins for many.

That last line sound familiar? That's because we wake up every day in Act Three. We have the privilege of living in a story with answers, without significant mysteries. We are simply waiting for completion and discerning our roles to maximize the good God has intended for us. As much as I love to romanticize an introduction or to heighten the stakes with a tense middle, I give in to my vanity if I cannot easily identify the Act Three stakes in my own story, our stories. Through our knowledge of the old covenant with Abraham and the fulfillment of the new covenant through Jesus, we have lived out the first two acts, at least, and to identify our lives as unclear enough "to figure out where we are" is foolish. Will we stick to our own narratives that start at an ill-defined beginning? Or will we submit to the narrative, the one that keeps us humble to our role as laborers, not the sole hero or anti-hero, for that matter. Through our labor (of faith and the fruits from it), we all become heroic because our strength is from His blood. The communal effort all goes back into the one Supreme story, the only one that can empower so many seemingly separate tales.

So as I see each person calmly and boldly face the camera in Fraser's Shadowfoot, I cannot help but admire the courage they have to face the Director. Then, I question my own gaze. I am looking at the laborers of God singing a song of resistance against the world and advocating submission to God. I am looking at them as they are looking at God, who is spatially situated with me. Clearly, the words pierce me enough to know I could never receive this message from anyone. However, the words look in me and through me, desperately seeking for a desire or a longing that can be affirmed. Indeed, the words drive me to look for Someone higher. As the song ends, I ask myself again: whose act am I living in?

I pray and hope it's His third. And I hope my word, sentence, or paragraph is exactly how He wants it to be.

Lord, give me the will and the resolve to do my labor on this Earth with joy and without complaint. Let me be still and realize the work I have to do, Lord. Stop my own strivings and guide me for the advancement of Your kingdom.

I pray this in Your name, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

3 Comments:

Blogger Danielle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Cecilia said...

Good words.

6:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home