October 21, 2009

Parallel yet divergent lives

We watched The Motorcycle Diaries on Monday night. It's a year in the life of Ernesto Guevero, later to be known as Che Guevero, and his best friend Alberto. In that year, Guevero encounters poverty, politics, indigenous people, and lepers while becomes more and more disturbed by class and civic divides.

The whole time we were watching it, I was struck by the parallels to Brother Sun, Sister Moon which tells of the early life of Francesco of Assisi, later known as St. Francis.

I think Motorcycle Diaries is a better crafted movie, but I was struck by how these two (good-looking, according to the movies) well-off young men both dealt with similar issues.

One of the logical responses to the suffering in the world is to decide that a loving God would never permit such things, therefore such a God doesn't exist. Che Guevera chose that solution. Francesco believed that God chooses to work through the humble and the weak and he began to see God in the lepers and beggars. He chose to cast off (literally) his worldly position and to place himself with the 'lowly'. In doing so he found grace.

One man couldn't believe in a revolution without guns, the other trusted the longer term, riskier idea that love WILL transform, even the powerful.

I think by instinct and pragmatism, I'm more like Che than Francesco. I want to be DOING whatever needs to happen. I chafe every time the Lord brings me back to the basics of loving him and asking who He wants to love that day through me. It seems too small, too simple. It was disturbing to think about how fragile my faith felt as I watched through Guevera's eyes. I have trouble seeing beyond what's in front of me. I don't like the insulated life we're living here in the 'burbs. It makes it too 'easy' to have faith. I prefer the robust earthiness of a faith that deals with the crap of life and can still find something eternal peeking through. Like grass slowly shifting concrete, Life persists.

It would be cool to show the movies as a double feature and have a discussion afterwards.


Snickollet said...

What a nice, thoughtful post. I really like the parallel you've drawn.

Would love to join you for the double feature and discussion.

Inkling said...

I really like this post. You made me think deeply, and gave me some real, lasting questions to ponder. Thank you!

mary said...

Awesome post and so very interesting. I have not seen either movie but now want to watch it! Can i come over?

OTRgirl said...

Mary, that would be fun! Bring your boys and your hubby. I'll email you