Loved in spite of ourselves

By Rebekah Robinson

I saw two takes on humanity this weekend. I work in retail part-time these days — which has given me a lot of new perspectives on consumerism — so yes, I was one of those people working on Black Friday. I also saw Interstellar with my roommate Caroline. While I definitely could not explain to you even the simplest of scientific questions involved in the film (though I did spend way too much time Googling about time and relativity afterwards), I feel like I left the film understanding the gist of it.

First things first, Black Friday was ridiculous. I could definitely go on a long self-righteous tangent about the sad truth of our materialistic society, but I’ll spare you. What I saw all day long was monotony. Just person after person looking for present after present, saying just about the same thing over and over as I took their money and gave the receipts: “Just getting my Christmas shopping out of the way.” There was very little excitement in each purchase. They were just buying to buy because it was expected. It was routine. As we enter the “season of giving” and as we just left the “season of thanks,” I see such little joy. Isn’t that disheartening? I don’t think God wants us to be bored. He wants us to be expectant. Am I wrong for believing that?

As for the movie — whoa. Yes, WHOA. Cinematically, it was beautiful and entertaining and anything but mundane. And while the movie doesn’t have a message that points us directly to Christ, it questioned our humanity, our desire to survive. My favorite quote is from Dr. Amelia Brand (played by Anne Hathaway) in which she explains love in the middle of science:

“Love isn’t something we invented. It’s observable, powerful. It has to mean something … Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”

Yes, some would say it was a cheesy placement in the movie, but I don’t care. This movie reminded me yet again of how much I don’t understand actual, sacrificial love that is completely selfless and gains nothing in return (and yes, I’m referring to Christ). As Dr. Brand said so passionately, we can call-out love when we see it, but we aren’t capable of fully understanding it.

Why did Christ die for us? And why do we know what “love” is?

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and
sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

We are on this earth — even in the days that seem so mundane and joyless or the days that seem so challenging and devoid of hope — not because we chose to be, but because we were created. Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate, to praise, to love? Whether we’re too focused on the routine in front of us or too overwhelmed by the questions around us, we always have a Savior from above that loves us in spite of us.

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