Valentines Day and Benjamin Button

Posted on February 15, 2009

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For Valentines Day, John and I went to a before noon $5 movie at the AMC downtown. Prior to our cheap cinema date we had intended to get coffee and French pastries from Madaline’s. (For those who are strangers to Madeline’s, they have spectacular croissants and they pull great shots.) Unfortunately, it beeing Valentines Day, the place was packed and we had to settle for Starbucks. Coffee ok, pasteries sub par.

At 11:05 we settled into our seats. Little did I know, I would be using my sleeve as a Kleenex for the next 160 minutes. The film has a Forest Gump-esk feel to it, following the life of a unique man, from his birth to his death. After the film, I couldn’t quite place what made the film so sad, and yet satisfying all at once. His “condition” of being born old and growing younger as the years pass seem to bring so much pain and saddness into his life. At least that is how it appears on the surface- hopeless. However, upon further reflection, it is clear to the honest viewer that life is no different for any of us. We grow up and live our lives in a world where people die, hearts are broken, and some of the most deirable things are left wanting or fade with progression of time.

As I continue to think on it, I am all the more convinced that Benjamin Button’s curious case is not what made his life lamentable, but because life just is lamentable. There are so many things that are broken or lacking in our individual lives, in relationships, in our communities and on it goes. I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’ perspective on Heaven, when he muses that if we crave something better than what this life offers (unending happiness and true love), and if we have that desire outside of ever expereincing it on this earth, then clearly we must be made to experience it at some point. I am eager for Heaven, but thankful that this journey here makes me all the more aware of how much I want that place of peace.

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