There’s a pivotal line of dialogue in The Trouble With Angels where its heroine, Mary Clancy – rebellious teen orphan dumped by her uncle at an all-girls Catholic school – makes her way through a home for the elderly, serving its residents cake. As she circulates, she hears snippets of their conversations:
I didn’t know they’d take my Social Security!
That was back when I was on the stage; did I tell you about when I was on the stage? And finally, from a sobbing woman who has just learned her children aren’t visiting her for Christmas:
When they were young I did everything for them; nothing was too hard…
Making her rounds, Mary eventually runs into the school principal, Mother Superior, where she defiantly declares, “I hope I die young. And very wealthy.”
Lately, life seems so ugly that, like Mary Clancy, our initial instinct might be to reject it: I’ve seen the world, and I want no part of it. In the span of a few months, as we’ve navigated a worldwide pandemic and nationwide injury over injustice, we’ve moved from anxiety and fear, from outrage (and regular old rage), to profound sadness and finally, into full-on hopelessness. Like Mary Clancy, all we’re getting are somber snippets – and the message is – we’re doomed.
Spoiler Alert! Mary ultimately makes the decision to give her life to the Lord. She doesn’t have a Moses-on-the-mountaintop moment, though that would’ve been a nice Hollywood movie effect. Her choice is based on a series of encounters with her teachers and mentors that gently lead her to the truth: that following God and His will for our lives may not always be pretty, or easy, or popular, but it’s always right.
Spoiler alert! As Christians, we know that what’s happening now is no surprise to God. The enemy always fails. Justice prevails. And love wins.
2 Chronicles 2:12 echoes in our ears: We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You. This is our choice: we either look at and listen to what the world is telling us, throw up our hands and hope to “die young,” or we keep our eyes and ears on Christ, praying always, studying His word – and put our trust in Him.