Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Mama Bears and Baby Bears
First of all, let it not be said that this isn't an absolutely amazing film clip. It is. Flat out. It's three minutes and fifty-five seconds well worth your time and attention.
I have absolutely no idea how it was made. Like I said, amazing!
When I first saw it, I sat riveted through the whole thing, bursting into tears at the end. As I watched it again - and again - and again - I realized that this was much more than a story of a Baby Bear and a Cougar. Which is why the ending always reduces me to tears.
I don't know about you, but I have had times in my life when, in my innocence and naivete, I thought the world was mine in which to frolic. And, that wasn't just somewhere in my youth or childhood.
Sometimes, even in the midst of all of its raw wilderness, the beauty of life can be so overwhelming that I can get lost in it.
Sometimes, the ability for some people to rise above their circumstances and find it within their poverty to still be generous is positively inspirational.
Sometimes the power of the human spirit to soar and triumph over brokenness and despair leaves me breathless.
Sometimes, the evidence of God's presence is so irrefutable, so undeniable, that I am awed and humbled and thrown into a state of utter ecstasy and complete bliss.
But mostly, I just plod through life. Going through the motions. Not really paying attention. Dealing as best I can with the sturm und drang. Anesthetized by the normalcy and routine of daily life. I wander and stray. Sometimes, I get lost.
And then, something happens. Danger always lurks at the fringes of our lives, no matter how safe we think we are. Our affluence will not save us. Our physical strength will not secure us. Our intellect does not know the path to safety.
Safety, I have come to understand, is just an illusion. None of us is safe. No, not one. Especially when we are not paying attention.
Sometimes the danger, like in this clip, is physical and very real. But, there are psychic and spiritual perils that are equally ominous. Equally menacing. Equally hazardous.
Evil is real. Very real. I have seen it. I have known it. I have fought my share of demons in my time. I'll bet you have, too.
I don't know why it is, then, that I should be surprised when the demons return and reappear - sometimes in the most unlikely places and from the most improbable people.
You know. Like, the church. And, good folk who call themselves 'Christian'.
What I have learned, however, is that, when I have stood nose to nose and eyeball to eyeball with Evil, even though I be battered and bloodied and scared out of my wits, at some point, something somewhere deep inside kicks in.
At some point, I stand full up on my haunches and roar. Full throat. Half out of fear, half out of absolute conviction that I can not - will not - let Evil overcome me. That I must use everything inside me to fight.
Even if I lose, I have to know that I have lost giving it everything I've got. That I have spent the best of myself in the battle.
In that moment, a "Me that is inside me" begins to find a place of courage. A "Me that is bigger than me" begins to roar. A "Me that is behind me" cries out against Evil more loudly than I ever could.
And, in that moment, the demon always backs off. Skulks away. Does not look back.
I turn and run to Her - this Mama Bear that has never really been farther away than the point of my most terrible danger.
This Mama Bear beckons me into her arms, washing off my wounds and loving me, even in the foolishness that placed me in the path of danger in the first place.
It is a miracle, this love of a Mama Bear. It is a love that is fierce. Unconditional. Grace-filled. Unearned and undeserved. And, always available to me - but most especially in moments of most horrific danger.
I sometimes forget that, in those moments, I can not rely on myself. There's a "Me that's bigger than me" who is waiting for me, just beyond my sight which has been blinded by sheer terror - or, apathy.
In those moments, what I have to do is find within me the spark of divinity that called me into being - the ember that glows amidst the mortal ashes of my humanity - and call upon it. Blow upon it until it comes to the Life that came to save my life.
If you know what I'm talking about, you'll appreciate this film clip.
If you don't, you'll enjoy it anyway.
But, know this: Life - all of life - is a precious gift.
You can really only know just how precious life is - how beautiful and wondrous it is - until you are about to lose it.
And then, no matter the outcome, you will find that you have the power to save yourself because you have been saved by the Love of One who loves you as fiercely and unconditionally as a Mama Bear.