9:00 p.m. Friday (for Diana)

It’s not too late, but I’m tired. I’m exhausted, truth be told. And I recognize this feeling. I had it the other night when I came home from the movie. I was tired, I was cranky and I wasn’t generous. Rats.

I saw The Passion of the Christ Wednesday. It was brutal, it was grotesque, it was violent, but it was also beautiful in some ways. I was angry when I returned home from watching it, though I couldn’t have told you that then. Perhaps you could tell from the reflections I rolled out the next morning. Written the night before, they were from my tired cranky brain.

I wanted to see a movie that would help me understand why Jesus died. Why anyone dies. And that’s not what I saw. And it made me angry.

Jesus died. That’s it. He loved people. He was God choosing to suffer what we suffer. And he took the hard way out that so many people have to take, no choices. And I still want to know why.

As my mom continues to live through tedious and tiring chemotherapy treatments which will only end when her life does: I don’t know why anyone has to die. It makes me crazy when I think about it. My Mom! Don’t you get it, (God!) she’s my MOM! She lived and so I do too. She loves and so I do too. Why would she have to die? Why, I ask, does anyone. If life is so great (and there’s the real question.) why does anyone have to leave it? (That was cranky, angry brain too.)

So, I was disappointed with the movie by Mel Gibson. I set myself up to be. Really. It can’t answer any questions I have. I get the suffering bit. I see it around me daily. I taste it too. A bit. I watch my mother struggle with her loss of independence; her loss of mobility and her loss of desire and appetite. This sucks. Why? I guess I’m ever going to be asking this question.

Her suffering? No sense.

The Passion of the Christ is a powerful movie. That’s obvious. People are being moved by it. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, agnostics, everyone is talking about it. Well, I should say everyone I know is talking about it. Of course almost everyone I know talks about God. So, there you go. I think Mel Gibson, God bless him, has tried to make a movie that will touch people. I think he’s done that. I’m looking forward to Mel’s next movie: The Resurrection of the Christ. That’s the one that’s going to give me hope.

Some say this movie is a great evangelical tool. That it’s the best such tool we’ve had for 2000 years. But I think the tools for evangelism have been around not only for the last 2000 years, but since the beginning of God’s creation of humanity. My Mom still laughs. She still cries. She still loves. Evangelism. Mel ain’t got nothing on Mom.

I’m hardly making sense now. I don’t know some of it seems so clear to me and some of it doesn’t. If something seems clear to you after seeing the movie. I’m glad. Moments of clarity are a gift. Moments add up. Please, share them. I need all the clarity I can not only find in myself, but can borrow from you too.