Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Others Feel Differently

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."   ... Jeremiah 1:5


I just finished watching The Flat through Netflix, a documentary made by the grandson of a Jewish woman who lived in Israel, in the same flat, for 70 years. Such a long time to live in the same rooms, especially to do so contentedly. When the family pulled out drawers of her possessions from the past century, it felt rather like standing at another estate sale. Loved that.

Anyway, if you're interested in genealogy, old Germany and the way Jews were told to get out, family relationships and the ways people react differently to grief, war and The Past, well, you'll like this, especially if you watch it while in just the right contemplative mood.

There's a mystery involved. Travel. Meetings with people still alive who knew the film maker's grandparents. Old photographs, history and family angst. There's more, too.

But what I took away? We need to not expect everyone to feel as we do about the big things like Life, Death and War. In many ways we are all alike--yes! Yet God, also, created us with our own unique make-up, with varying differences.

One way we differ? We each do what we must in order to process what happens to us (or our families or ancestors) so to pass through this life peacefully, sanely:

Some people don't like to ask questions, some choose to keep a childlike trust in the goodness of God foremost, no matter what evil things have touched them.

Others choose to keep asking questions until they find answers which finally give them a sense of peace.

Some people choose forgiveness. Some seek to forget, compartmentalize. Others choose resentment and an anger they learn to live with.

You can probably add a hundred more variations of all of the above.

But The Flat reminded me to respect peoples' feelings rather than believe they should feel as I do. For the first three decades of my life I expected that and didn't even realize how prideful it all was. You know, to believe my feelings about Life were all the correct ones, especially when they appeared to be 'biblical.'

(In this documentary, the film maker questions his mother about her way of leaving the past alone, asking, "Don't you care that you don't care?" To me, that sounded too much like, "Don't you care that there's something wrong with you?")

Only God knows best and gets it right 100% of the time. After all, He's the one who created us as one-of-a-kind individuals and only He can make us more like Him. And He's the one who created freedom to be who we are, to dislike what some people enjoy (or vice versa), to choose Him or deny Him...

A scary freedom, that last one, especially. To me, anyway. But one I must always remember to respect while living as I believe He's asking me, personally, to live.


"... and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,"   ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11

What happened when, in my 30's, I began obeying this verse (especially the 'mind your own business' part)? I got happy. And stayed that way.


One of my all-time favorite kids' lit. novels:  Stand In The Wind, by Jean Little. Once they arrive at the beach house, it's as though you drove there along with them. Love this book and the final page always leaves me teary-eyed.

Your town library may have this one.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Hi Debra, a very interesting thoughtful post. I will try to watch this movie....I had a hard time commenting. Clicking on comments did nothing. I had to (finally) right click on it and then click on "open in a new tab"....

Debra said...

Kristi--ack! I hate it when I hear that people have a hard time commenting here. It's supposed to be set up so that it's super easy for anyone to comment, even anonymously, and without any verification, etc. Thanks for trying till you got in! And thanks for your kinds words, too.

I think you'd like this documentary! Watching the varied reactions of the family/friends interested me most, along with learning more about the history of those times. Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

I will definitely put this on my Netflix list. I watch a lot of such things. This one is new to me. I have found it so interesting to see the different responses people had after going through the same things in WW2. also I have read several new to me books on people. Novels from remembrances of relatives about the Civil War and even how they thought of the slave situation and the South North and it opened my eyes to how people see the world differently than I ever thought they would, even back then. I had to read it then reread parts and think. I love the old real diaries.

I had our telephone on a shelf for years. I kept a nice size rock right by the phone to remind myself to not cast the first stone. ..or think also wrong thoughts or gossip..which is casting stones too. Oh how we tend to judge. Even when we think we aren't. You have to stop and rethink what you just thought!!! ah oh!!!!

I have never had problems commenting..hope this is not the first! :) Sarah

Debra said...

Sarah--so glad you never have trouble commenting here! I've heard from a few that they do--maybe it's a browser problem?

I do think you'd enjoy this documentary. It held my interest the whole way through. Let me know if you see it, ok? Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

Hi Debra! I certainly will watch this documentary. Thanks for the recommendation. If you want something light and fluffy - hulu (and youtube) has "Supersizers Go" -a BBC series.

A food critic and a comedian eat and live as people in a particular time period. There is a "40's" one I know you would like. Be forewarned, they are occasionally crude and the foods are sometimes extremely gross. But over all, a lot of fun with some social history included. Have a great weekend! Taryn

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

It might be because I have a new computer with Windows 8 and am trying mightily to figure out how it works!

Debra said...

Taryn--thanks for the recommendation! I watched the 1941 one and had to laugh. The 'mock' dishes were funny and reminded me of similar popular dishes of the 60's. I enjoyed the décor and clothes, of course... thanks again!

Kristi--yep... Windows 8 can be a headache I've heard!

Thanks, Ladies... Debra

Bonnie said...

Debra, thanks for what sounds like a great recommendation. That's one positive thing about getting older....judging people less and seeing where they're coming from. Surprising how much peace it allows me! I can only hope I continue to grow that way. Thanks again.