Ordinary Life . . . Examined
by Carol Lavenz
Ordinary life provides an excellent opportunity for self-observation and spiritual enrichment.
I observed that when I do watch TV, I search out shows with characters that are idealistic, even Rambo types, determined against all odds to make the world a better place. I recently got habitual about watching the TV series, Lethal Weapon. Briggs, a very likeable, skilled, but eccentric detective, receives the long waited phone call that his pregnant wife is on her way to the hospital to deliver his baby boy. His excitement is met with horror, when he learns that a car accident killed both his wife and unborn child. Devastating grief follows him as he moves to LA and partners with a conventional minded detective. They prevail against the most outlandish criminal circumstances, but in spite of Briggs’ mandatory counseling, he is plagued with childhood memories of his Father’s violence and the uncompromising pain of losing his beloved wife and child. Two seasons later, he finally resolves his grief enough to begin a new relationship when he is fatally shot while saying his goodbyes at the grave of his dear wife.
I know TV shows have intentional hype, drama and unrealistic antics, but the ending was overwhelmingly sad for me. I was drawn to make ‘life’ sense of this. Fr. Richard Rohr states, “the place of the wound is the place of healing.” His tragic death felt like a wound. After prayer and reflection, faith prompted me to see once again that ultimate goodness, beauty and hope is indwelling in God’s love. Eternally, that does involve a mortal death. “God Saves” were words that passed through my mind giving me comfort.
A strong reaction to a movie, TV show, or news could become a time of self-knowledge and faith witness. Ordinary life, examined in Christ, moves us beyond fatalism, negativity, and the ‘blame God syndrome’ to the faith, hope, and love in our Lord’s presence and Glory.
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