"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.