Tuesday, September 20, 2005

There's no such thing as an accident

If you haven't seen the movie Crash, go see it.

If you have, keep reading.

Possibly the best movie I have seen in a long time. The Grand Canyon of the new millennium. Another movie about the racial divide; not the canyon between the races, but the gaping maw of fear and anger within each of us that we think will keep us safe somehow.

One of the many pivots the movie turns on is a St. Christopher dashboard statue. St. Christopher is the "Christ-bearer". Not only did he carry the Christ child across a river but also the massive burden of sin that he bears. The meaning of this has been watered down by making good ol' St. Chris into the patron saint of travellers, to protect them from harm.

Ironically, in this movie, everyone collides with everyone else and ultimately with themselves. The collisions are the vehicle through which grace is able to work its way into the big and small bits of each character. Of late, I have understood grace as removing obstacles between us and the divine. In this movie, obstacles are the divine: God getting in the face of each character as if they thought they could avoid what angers them and fears them the most. From what I've observed, the second we try to avoid something or someone, a tiny thread of light ties itself to us and the object of our resistance, pulling us closer together until wham! what is staring us in the eye is not an obstacle to grace but the very key to our salvation for that particular day, hour, minute. And usually what we are being saved from is ourselves.

What St. Chris teaches us is that we are to imitate the one who bears our burdens by bearing up one another. If we won't do it willingly, we may just crash into that one we've been avoiding and be offered another chance to choose mercy.

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