I began this post several weeks ago and just returned to it today...I am reminded of this familiar ache as the world news once again screams of heartbreak and tragedy.
Last week, my mom and I went to see Disney's latest remake of the timeless tale, Cinderella. The theater was packed with little (and not-so-little) girls, oohing and ahhing as the beautiful Ella, who had been used and abused by her wicked stepmother (yet somehow managed to maintain her courage and kindness almost effortlessly), joyfully waltzed off with the charming and handsome prince (having known him only two days) and received the ultimate justice and repayment for all that was broken in her life. Even as a not-so-little girl, I noticed myself getting carried away by the magic and enchantment of a story I have heard a hundred times in a hundred different ways. What is it about these stories that capture us so?
I am enchanted because I want my life to be a fairytale. I want everything that is wrong or unfair or sad to be made right. But it doesn't work that way, does it? There is death and deceit and selfishness and greed...and often no justice. Life is hard, and there is no prince come to carry me away from the hardness (at least not yet anyway... ;-). I can find myself wooed by fairytales because my life is not one and yet there is a deep, guttural, and very real longing in me for the wrong to be right.
I wonder if this longing is the truest part of me, the part that whispers of a time long, long ago when everything was right...before brokenness interrupted and altered the course of eternity. Perhaps this longing speaks about a God-man who came into the brokenness as a squalling bloody mess sent to pursue our battered and bleeding hearts. Perhaps this longing serves to remind me of the long road Jesus traveled to pick up every bit of my shame and fear, heaping it upon himself as he willingly faced the brutal force of all evil head on while God's face turned from him. Perhaps this longing reminds me of that moment when he breathed his last and the curtain ripped straight down the center, giving humanity unfettered access to divinity for the first time since all had gone wrong so many years before. Perhaps this longing reminds me of the empty grave, of the Savior who not only died a brutal death so that I did not have to, but also defeated death by proving it incapable of restraining him from Glory. Perhaps, in a time when tragedy can strike in an instant and decimate an entire country without causing the rest of the world to pause for more than a heartbeat...perhaps this longing reminds me that things are not as they were intended, and that God mourns the disparity between what is, what was supposed to be, and what one day will be.
I love the picture painted in Psalm 56:8--