White Horse and All

If you're a baby boomer (I barely qualify by having been born in the last official year of the baby boom) then you've probably noticed along with me that Hollywood seems to be aging with us. Or maybe it's just that the Hollywood actors and actresses I've followed since young adulthood are moving into roles that portray the next obvious faze in their lives and mine. I've watched Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, and Denzel Washington progress from hot, young ingenues and hunks to hip thirty-somethings to seasoned stars. And now they're all playing the same parts I am: tired, dated, and slightly heavier middle-aged adults trying to figure out what's next!

Case in point: Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne

and Steve Carrell and Marisa Tomei in Crazy, Stupid, Love. 

Actually I'm really looking forward to seeing both of these movies this summer. For one thing, I love a good romantic comedy, which I'm assuming these to be. Second, both movies feature some of my favorite actors and actresses. And finally, I can relate to the whole "How did I get here and how do I move on gracefully?" theme.

We women love a good chick flick, huh? Or at least most women I know do. Why is that? Well, for one thing I think we all love the common, every-man kind of hero they usually feature. Gone are the days when the romantic lead was portrayed as perfect and dashing and without flaw. When Hollywood figured out that none of us were buying that image anymore, they stopped trying to convince us that he's out there. We know he's not out there because we all thought we married him, only later to find out later that we didn't.

Don't get me wrong; I love my husband. He's handsome and good and funny and smart and a lot of fun. But I also get to wash his dirty clothes, clean the tooth paste out of his sink, and throw away his soda cans (which I find on the table beside the sofa most every morning). He's a plumb, but he's not perfect. And fortunately he would agree. And he'd add, "Back at ya, Kay!"

We all love a cute, witty, and brave love interest. But we generally love their scars, their baggage, their faults, and their fears as well. We have no choice. That's simply reality and to ignore it and try to pretend otherwise is only dangerous and stupid. We have to accept our heroes, warts and all.

But there's one exception.

Today as I read my Bible I was reminded that there is One man who takes my breath away every time and He will never prove to be less than what I first thought Him to be. In fact, with each passing day it becomes clearer and clearer to me that He is indeed braver, stronger, more capable, and even more loving than I once thought imaginable.

Just like in the movies, it doesn't take much to sweep me off my feet. Here's the lines that took my breath away today:

Pilate:  Are You a king then?

Jesus: You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.

I just love the way Jesus doesn't back down to this man of authority. He's already been slapped for speaking "disrespectfully" to the high priest. Now Jesus has asserted that He is indeed what the religious leaders have accused Him of claiming to be--a king. Not only that, but He even claims that He was born for this very cause. At this point it should be clear to all--both then and today--that Jesus is either who He claims to be or a lunatic. I prefer to believe He is the King, exactly who He claims to be.

Don't you just go weak at the knees when you think of what Jesus did for you? Don't you just get a little breathless when you consider that He would have dashed onto the scene for the very same sacrifice even if you had been the only one who needed a savior? And don't your palms get a little sweaty when you remember that He's coming back...for you? 

He's my knight in shining armor...and there are no warts, no faults, no baggage, no personality glitches, and no weaknesses. He has no latent fears, no secret past, no hidden agendas. He's strong and never goes weak, even when it may appear to others that He's lost His power. He hasn't lost it; He's just lovingly laid it down. And He knows when to speak, when to be quiet, when to answer a question with a question, and when to shoot straight. He says exactly the right thing. He never has to apologize. But He always accepts my apologies without making me gravel. He's available at my every beck and call, and yet He's not needy or aimless. He's the most important "man" in the world, and yet He has time for me...all the time. And I never have to wash His dirty clothes, but He's washed mine.

Here's another passage I read last week that took my breath:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

Ah, now that's a real knight in shining armor. One who rides in as a victorious warrior, sweeps you off your feet, laughs with you over private jokes and sweet little remembrances, quietly professes His love for you in hushed, private tones, and then proclaims His affection for you with boisterous shouts to all who are around. Be still my heart!

I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne and I think I'll even give Steve Carrell a shot in Crazy, Stupid, Love (if he can keep his language under control!). And I certainly enjoy going to those sorts of movies with my own romantic/comedy hero, my husband. But for a truly breath-taking, heart-stopping, swooning good time...I open my Bible.  That's where I meet my real Hero...until He returns for me one day, white horse and all.

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