Tonight, Lisa and I sat and watched "Chocolat." Now let me admit, this was not a movie I was terribly interested in either from the DVD case, or the plot. A friend let us borrow his copy and he said it was great.....and.....surprisingly it was.
If you are one of those people for whom a movie will be ruined if you know the plot then stop reading now!
I mean it!
Anyway, as best as I can summarize it at around 2 a.m. [our youth have a lock-in with a neighboring church] the plot centers around a wandering woman and her daughter that drift from town to town, at the whim of this mysterious "North Wind" and set up a chocolate shop, just long enough to get run out of town to the the next one they find themselves in. This North Wind is sort of a superstitious voodoo power handed on down to this woman from her mother, who is naturally of South American descent I think.
She happens upon this quaint little French town set in the their ways; in many ways they are the new Pharisees: Staunchly Catholic and theological fundamental. When she is invited to church by the mayor of the town she politely refuses and states that she does not go to church. Needless to say they do not take too kindly to her presence and, for the bulk of the movie, they are trying desperately to get her to leave town because she is "disturbing" their way of life.
To make a long post short, the movie turns towards the end with each party embracing the good in the other. After much tension and stress between the two, each one sees that they can make their home together; that there is room enough for faith and friction.
I began to think about the situation in many of our mainline denominations and the debates that are raging between the "right" [represented in the townspeople in the movie] and the "left" [this unconventional drifter woman and her daughter]. When we see each other as a threat there is no invitation issued to the table, simply tension and division. Now, I know it's late and maybe I'll rethink this in the morning [oh, wait it is morning] perhaps we might understand that we really do need each other; that each one brings something to the conversation. We spend so much time arguing about doctrinal stands and propositional truths all the while missing the relational depth that we are called to have, first with God, and then with others. Perhaps there is a way for us to meet in the middle and find a way to live together in deferential love, not always loving to agree but always agreeing to love.
I don't know, these are just insomniatic thoughts late at night. What do you think?
Grace & Peace,