To gear up for Lent, Jon and I popped "the Passion" in last night. We're visual learners, so the plan is to watch a little of the Passion every time we've got a yearning for TV or Netflix.
I got to the scene where the temple priests are all hitting Jesus, and I was transfixed.
For the first time in my life, the scene didn't feel "cartoonish", fake or "over the top."
People hitting Jesus in the face. It made sense.
Jon and I stopped the DVD and started talking. "Why are they hitting him?" I asked. I didn't write them off as foolish monsters. I saw them for the first time as real people. Why are the temple priests, the guys who are supposed to be praying for the coming Messiah hitting the actual Messiah in the face?" I asked Jon.
"They are afraid," Jon said confidently. "The are hitting Jesus because they are trying to get control over something they are afraid of."
"What do you mean?"
Then Jon and I started talking about our Bunny's experience in the NICU. When the real God stuff hits, life is not a Hallmark commercial. People who are in the light were attracted to our Bunny like a magnet. Sometimes they made mistakes, sometimes we made mistakes, but like Peter, John and Jesus we always found a way to be together for the big stuff.
Meanwhile, people who were "in darkness" got absolutely furious at Bunny. It was irrational. It didn't make any sense. People told us "if you didn't have a 4th child, none of this would be happening right now."
I didn't want to spend one "extra" day in the NICU with my pretty girl Tess and I ended up spending 25 extra days. This is one of the gifts of faith from that trial by fire.
The Passion doesn't seem like such an unreal cartoon anymore.