Friday, November 22, 2013

Everything and More

"Abraham I will remember"
Leviticus 26:42

Well, it's a couple days late, but we were busy the last two nights...  We watched the movie "Lincoln" tonight, in honor of the 150th anniversary of delivery of the Gettysburg Address.  We saw the movie last year, when it first came out; one of the few times I've seen a movie on Opening Night.  I was a Lincoln scholar in college, and even though I don't have a chance to read much about him anymore, it's still enjoyable anytime I pick up an article or something.  It's familiar, but there's always something new, too.

It was fun to watch the movie again.  Though we own the dvd, we hadn't watched it yet, so this was the first time since a year ago.

I'd been eagerly anticipating the movie, but I had my reservations, too.  I wanted the movie to be done right, you know?  I wanted it to fit my expectations, based on everything I'd read and studied.  And it did, in almost every way.

The characters looked the way they should ~ I could tell right away who the members of his cabinet were, because they looked exactly like the people they were portraying.

And the personalities were what I expected, too.  The relationship between Mr Lincoln and his wife; and between him and his son Robert; his Secretary of State, William Seward.... I would have been puzzled or disappointed if their portrayals did not stay true to everything I know about them.

The experience is somehow more enjoyable to me because it's true to what I've read, and I realized today that I can anticipate heaven in the same way.  I've spent so much time reading about Him ~ His characteristics, His attributes, and the glimpses He has given us of eternity.  And it's both exciting and comforting to know that He will always be everything He has promised.  Who He is in Scripture is who He is.  And what He says will be exactly has He has said.

There was one thing in the movie that surprised me.  A quote, by Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War.  The morning after the assassination, when the doctor announced to the gathered men that the President had passed away, Stanton broke the silence that followed.  His words were, "Now he belongs to the ages."  A statement worthy of the situation, to be sure.

But in my mind, that statement sounded different than it was in the movie.  Stanton was a big man, with a formidable personality.  And I always imagined that the words he spoke to be a sort of declaration.  I pictured him proclaiming Lincoln's legacy, in a booming voice, in a silent room.

But in the movie, the actor spoke the words quietly.  Sadly.  With exhaustion and resignation.  And it was so fitting.  It was truer, and better than I had imagined it.

That, too, is true about God, and about heaven.  We have words, but we don't always have understanding.  We are finite and frankly, He is incomprehensible.  We can picture... we can imagine... and we'll be right.

And yet, at the same time, we'll be wonderfully surprised, too.

~ "Though now you do not see Him,
yet believing,
   you rejoice with joy inexpressible" ~
1 Peter 1:8

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