Sunday, April 29, 2007

seeing what is true

I'm not a rabid series TV watcher and I don't plan my time around sitcom schedules. But one indulgence I have enjoyed is the series, The Gilmore Girls. It's the story of a young woman born into a wealthy family who becomes pregnant as a teen, has a baby girl, and moves out on her own unbeknownst to her parents. The series picks up with Lorelai, the mother, and Rory, the daughter, sixteen years later, needing to reconnect with the estranged parents/grandparents, and in time, the father. The new show episodes air on Tuesday and reruns can be found daily, and even today, a Sunday. I happened to catch an old episode I had not seen. Rory and her mother are the heart of the show and very close. Lorelai is preparing to graduate from business school, something she could not do as a young woman, and so Rory makes all sorts of plans and promises to be at the graduation. She's the type of girl who never misses an important event, is over-reliable and so tender-hearted to do anything to hurt anyone is almost impossible.

In the previous episode, Rory receives a phone call from someone she had cared for in the past, a sort of bad boy who left town without saying goodbye to anyone. He goes to New York City and calls from there, not saying much, but letting her know where he is. On a very uncharacteristic whim, Rory cuts school and boards a bus for NYC. She finds Jess and spends the day, planning to get home for graduation, but not able to because the bus is delayed. So on one of the most important days of her mother's life, she breaks a promise and is not there. The end scene has mom pulling up to their house with daughter sitting on the porch steps, not even letting her mother get a word in edgewise trying to explain how stupid she and how much she needs to be punished. This goes on for several moments until her mother cuts her short and helps the Rory to see that she really cares for this boy. Rory is unable to accept that truth and wants to be punished to make things right, but punishment won't change things. She won't even agree to go out with her mother to dinner, feeling so ashamed and not worth the trouble, but Lorelai asks her, "Don't you think I'm worth it?"

It's never hard for me to find parallels between my relationship with my heavenly Father and stories on tv or that I read. This mirrors the prodigal son-the wayward son comes back to the father and says "make me a hired hand". The issue is, a son or a daughter could never be that. Rory begs to wash dishes, clean, be grounded, no music or books, for months. But the thing is, the deeper issue-the competition she feels in her heart for a boy pitted against her affection for her mother-is a truth that can't be made up for. It is simply true, and the daughter cannot bring herself to admit it. Sometimes it's easier to deflect the truth and do things to cover it over than just come to the place of admitting. The Father wants only to hear our true hearts, and sometimes that is tough. I find myself in just such a place. I feel myself washing dishes, cleaning, avoiding facing what I know in my heart is true...there is something in there I don't want to admit, least of all to God. I love God, it is true, and I need to trust that that love is powerful enough to accept other loves I have in my heart, warranted or not. I need to want my Father to see my heart and help me do the right things, or just grieve sometimes for things that can never be. Loving isn't wrong, nor is grieving. I just need His acceptance of me in my turmoil and to stop punishing myself for being human.

In the end I find my God far more gentle on me than I am on myself.


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