Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautiful Words

"We are a story, slowly unfolding...beautiful words"

One of the advantages of my job is that I get to write off-site two days a week. It's a wonderful gift. Occasionally I go to Panera Bread, but my favorite moments of creating are spent at my kitchen table. In that time, what is my greatest inspiration as I type away? Music. (And I play it rather loudly when I'm alone.)

This week, a song I heard on Tuesday hasn't left me. I've been humming it as I compose day after day on the blank page. And it's appropriate because it is about words.

Here are the lyrics to the first verse and chorus:

Slow down
This is such a blur
Tell me what's the hurry now
Have we been running round in circles
Missing all that we could be
You say it's not too late

We are words
On pages that we've left unturned
An ending no one's ever heard
We are a story slowly unfolding
Beautiful words

- "Beautiful Words" by The Afters

Slow down. Missing all that we could be. It's not too late. We are a story. I don't know about you, but I usually want now. No slow unfolding. But that is not how our Creator works. His story unfolded over centuries. Our stories will have a century, at best. But how amazing to realize that our story unfolds within His.

Life naturally brings numerous examples of this: marriage, children growing at a rate that seems like an inch a day, the tomato plants a co-worker gave me yesterday, composing a lesson and corresponding audio script about David and Goliath.

So, as I continue on my writing journey this morning and prepare to step into this long weekend, I will rest in the unturned pages God has numbered for me and take joy in the single words coming forth in the next few days. I will probably rip some paper to create some art journaling pages and dance barefoot in the living room with my girls. I'll also sit next to my beloved as we venture into the mountains. Slowing down....

Beautiful words.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Answer Man (A Movie Review)

(I have long thought about writing reviews of my favorite books, movies, and music on my blog. Here’s a first attempt. Enjoy!)

First there was Dr. Gregory House.

Then there was Ron Swanson (or as my husband calls him, the human version of the beloved cartoon character “Garfield”).

But there is one curmudgeon you might not know about: Arlen Faber.

Arlen Faber is famous, even though he doesn’t want to be. Twenty years before, he wrote a book called Me and God. As with most bestsellers, this one spawned a whole host of other books such as The Me and God Diet and Me and God for Teens. (Yeah. You know the type.) And it also produced a group of rabid fans who would love to do nothing more than meet the man behind the work.

Arlen is behind something alright, but it’s not his work. He’s hiding behind the door of his home. Inside those walls, he spends his days tossing unopened fan mail into a pile, reading books about spirituality, and yelling out words that would make most of his faithful readers blush.

What really makes Arlen holler is the day his back goes out. His agent, the only person left on his speed dial, decides that he needs to figure out a thing or two on his own. So, she leaves him on the floor of his home.

His only choice is to crawl to a chiropractor. And he does. Through the streets of downtown Philadephia.

Enter Elizabeth. What’s a curmudgeon to do when a beautiful woman fixes his back and leaves him speechless? Suddenly books about spirituality are traded for books about love.

On top of that, someone discovers where Arlen lives and agrees to trade silence about his address for answers to his questions about life. After all, Arlen has direct access to God…right?

I stumbled on The Answer Man(currently on Netflix instant play) by accident, and it made my day yesterday. Jeff Daniels is hilarious as a disgruntled recluse. Yet, his heart is so big when you watch him interact with Elizabeth’s son. I think my favorite movies are the ones where connection and community show up in surprising places. This movie surely fits that description.

In addition, it unmasks the notion of perfect people who have all the answers. In the end, we are all broken and asking for answers. Only God can weave our paths together and turn our attempts at navigating life into something bigger and more beautiful than we can imagine.

Watch it for yourself. Here’s a little peek: