Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mona Lisa Smile

This weekend, the ladies of 5 Stones and other women interested are invited to watch the film, Mona Lisa Smile. Afterward, we are going to break up into small groups and talk through a few discussion questions, followed by a short message.

The night before, I drafted some discussion questions for the movie, and last night, I sat down after the kids went to bed and began typing. I do my best thinking at the keyboard - don't ask me to think standing up in a conversation because I'm sure to fail. The main question on my mind last night was, how do I translate the roles and shifts in perspective that occur in Mona Lisa Smile into today's culture and the lives of women in the church? At first, I started by looking at advertisements and sitcom summaries to see what common denominators I could find here, but as I wrote a few paragraphs, the message I needed to get across still wasn't clear. No, no, no, that's not it! and I'd pray again, Lord, what do you want me to say about this?

Eventually, the problem surfaced - I was trying to look at the outside issues, like choosing between career and family, rather than addressing the heart and soul. This essential root opened up the topic for me. I'm excited to talk about what it means to be a woman of God this Saturday. I wrote a poem a while ago about the woman at the well that illustrates a bit about how God takes us from where we have been and transforms us in ways we could have never imagined, in the metaphor of a crocus.

The Merciful Gardener
“Come, see a man who told me
everything I ever did.” – John 4:29

It feels as if I’ve been buried here
forever, dehydrated, covered in dirt,

a crocus stagnant and frozen with scales
wrapped tight and tunic pointing skyward

waiting for signs of spring. And now
water trickles down, sunbeams warm the soil,

I can feel myself changing, breaking!
All I’ve ever done was wait and rot.

And then he – And then he showed me –
I am compelled to tell, can’t help but bloom –

Do you see how he knew just what I needed?
Do you see how he knew what I could do?

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