Unfamiliar Territory
by Narcissus
(Deep Thoughts, 1575 views) - 2/27/04
(recorded 2/27/04 @ 12:18:35 AM)
What happened to Christ’s blood in the Communion cup? Here, it comes by the gallon.

Here's another commentary on The Passion of Christ to toss into the mix. It's not so much a review (hence the different musing classification) as a narrative, a thinking-aloud-process. Bear with me.

Jamie and I went to the 2 o'clock show this afternoon at Wallace. The theater was probably only filled with 30-some people.

We didn't buy popcorn or drinks or gum. There weren't any previews. The lights were pre-dimmed. I was a bit nervous, actually. I wasn't nervous about the storyline- anyone who is in the slightest way familiar with Christianity (or even the breakdown of the word "Christianity") knows exactly how the movie is going to end: The last 12 hours of Jesus' life. I was nervous about what I was going to see: the details, the gory scenes I heard about, and the brilliant acting.

And so the story unfolds. Perfectly predictable, as it should be. We could have followed along ourselves in the actual text. Jesus, bearing the pain of all the world’s sins, acted out in front of us. I cried throughout. But wait – I’m not Christian.

Hi, my name’s Christina and I’m Agnostic. No shame in that. But I was completely moved, by the movie, by what it represents in the most literal way. It made Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection all the more real- more touchable, something I can grasp more easily. I was in a completely lost state when Jesus (played by actor Caviezel) walks off the screen into the light. As the credits roll, I’m trying to compose myself: drying my cheeks, sniffling, etc. And, en route to recovery, I start bawling.

Some woman comes over to us and hands Jamie and I some tissues. And as I continue sobbing at near-hysterics, she hands me more tissues and asks, "Do you know Him? Do you know Him as your Savior?"

I shrug a few times, cry harder, trying to choke out my agnostic response: “I don’t know."

She turns to Jamie and repeats herself, “Do you know Him?” Jamie responds with a confident, somewhat cheery “yes.” She hands me more tissues. “You know he died for you?” All I wanted at that second was the ability to answer with one word instead of three. “He died for you and He loves you.” This woman leaves her purse on the seats below us and comes up to our row and embraces me tightly.

And she starts praying for me.

“Lord, help this sweet young girl accept you into her heart, to know of your love…” Jamie put her hand on my leg and, I assume, prays with her silently. “Help her to find the way…but on her time because You’re waiting, Lord…."

I listened intently, tears slowing. I wondered (and wonder now) why this complete stranger would comfort me like she did. She prayed to her God for me, to give some of that great love she believes in to me. (Jamie as well, I believe.) She asked me my name, then Jamie’s, and introduces herself as Margaritas-not-Margaritas. I upset that I can’t remember her name.

So "an experience" is about all I can classify this movie as. It was... moving, surprising, dumbfounding to have a complete stranger and one of my best friends praying for me... The movie (and more so, my experience afterwards) sparked something. I would feel way too superficial to let a movie convert me to Christianity (precisely the reason I didn’t let myself seriously turn the events over in my mind until I was at home by myself), but, as I said before, the movie made the idea of Jesus being the Messiah a bit more understandable, touchable. The experience sparked more questions, lots of Whys and Hows and How-comes and How-the-heck-can-you-explain-thises. So... I guess the movie just catalyzed my desire to understand Christianity in more depth. It sped up my need to know if I could believe in Christ or if I don’t or if I'm still agnostic in the end.

I have my own beliefs right now. (Take Heaven, for example. The Kingdom? “I don’t know.” My parents told me when I was little that all my dead relatives (or cats or fish or what have you) were never really gone as long as I “keep them in my heart,” in my memories and my thoughts. … Another: Homosexuality. It goes against teachings in the Bible, but I don’t believe it’s wrong.) I believe in a sort of presence- that some things are never really gone. I can’t think of anything greater (with what I know now) than being in the presence of my friends and family or at certain places (in nature) where I feel completely whole. I don’t know if I believe in “going to Heaven” or “going to Hell.” Part of me feels that when my time here is over, I will linger. Maybe in spirit. Or maybe simply in memories and in the particles of dust I leave behind. But part of that “presence,” the heaviest part, is the idea of God. I think I could safely say I believe in God. But to jump to ideas about Messiahs and Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity… “I don’t know.” But the events of today have opened up a window in me. A newfound desire to find out what I believe at this point in my life. Am I Christian? Agnostic? Atheist? I want to know the whole story. I’ve got friends who are kind enough to listen to my questions and answer them to the best of their ability. I look forward to it, but I’m nervous.

I find myself in unfamiliar territory.
Previous musing: The Basics of Life
Back to Narcissus's Notebook :: Back to the Musings
You know you can easily count me as one of those friends. I'll be here for you to talk to about anything you need...

I'm glad you had something of an experience watching the movie... I should go see it...

   [disillusioned (J :: M) 2/27/04 5:50 AM]

As with Chris, I am also glad to hear about your experience...(and very relieved to hear that the woman in the theaters was not a "pushy" christian... there's nothing worse than people trying to force their faith on you). By the way...I never had the chance to tell you, but it was very nice to meet you last Sunday, and hopefully we'll get to see you again. You are always more than welcome at our church and if you have any questions, I'm sure that any of us would be more than happy to answer them as best as we can.

   [resplendence (J) 2/27/04 6:35 AM]

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