Sunday, May 01, 2005

Eyes that see

WARNING - Seriously cheesy movie about to be discussed.

With that out of the way, I'd like to discuss a movie that I really like despite the high cheese factor and the presence of Kevin Costner. Field of Dreams is a movie that grows on me each time I watch it. Not because I didn't get to play catch with my dad (he was never interested in that) but on a more spiritual level.

There is a scene near the end of the movie where Annie's brother Mark is trying to get Ray to sell the farm and field to him and his investors. If Ray doesn't, they will foreclose on the mortgage. Mark cannot see the players on the field, he only sees an empty baseball diamond. Then Ray and Annie's daughter falls off the bleachers and begins choking. One of the players on the diamond has to decide whether to rescue the little girl (he's a doctor) and give up his ability to play baseball or keep playing. When he saves the girl Mark exclaims "where did all of these baseball players come from?"

It was as if the scales were lifted from his eyes and he was able to see. Just minutes before he had been haranguing Ray and Annie about their stupidity, and suddenly he could see what was right in front of him. When his eyes were opened, he was amazed at what he saw. Deuteronomy 29:4 talks about a time when Israel suffered from this affliction "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. "

There was a moment in my life when God lifted the scales from my eyes. I began to see not what was apparent, but what was going on behind the scenes. I began to see people's actions in light of their personality and history, not just for what they appeared to be. But most magnificently, God began to show me what could be, instead of what is. That is both a blessing and a curse. Because there are a lot of Marks in the world. They see only what is there, and they berate, chastise, harangue, curse, oppose and (insert term of your choice) anyone who differs from them.

I find this true in the modern church. Seeing things differently, asking "what if we tried this?," and generally having big dreams makes one an enemy of the status quo ante. People like this threaten the established order and must be stopped, at whatever the cost. It is as if traditions and the "way we have always done things" have become more important than reaching the lost. The form has superceded the function, and that is almost always a bad thing for any organization, especially the church. Read this post from The OOZE on how some churches have lost sight of their mission to become refuges from the culture rather than change agents for the culture.

My fervent prayer is for the leaders who don't see to try to open their eyes, rather than shooting the messenger. And when they come across members of their flock who are shooting the messenger, they lovingly work with them to change their behavior toward others who may have a different take on things. The game is before us, but we cannot play what we cannot see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicely, done, Roy. How true that tradition blinds us at times. I think the hard part is knowing how to winnow the new & necessary from the new & trendy.

I disagree with one of your points, however. Field of Dreams is NOT cheesy! I love that movie. It captures the warm, humidity-laden-with-possibilities Iowa corn-drenched summers that I loved. I remember when they filmed it and the call for thousands of extras (the last scene.) (Plus, after the movie had been released, we went out there to visit the farm in Dysersville where it was filmed --and went in and out of the corn, of course.)