Movies and books are quite often my sources of inspiration. They are thought provoking other lives, tearing me from the blessed reality of my own. In the past week, I’ve read one book and watched one movie — both of which propelled the perspective parts of my brain into action.
You can’t read something about the Holocaust without being slapped brutally with the nearly unbelievable circumstances of our world only 70 years ago. I’ve been reading about concentration camps and the Nazis since I can remember but every survivor’s tale, every small detail about one more of the millions who were killed those hellish years reminds me I’ll never really comprehend the depth of that tragedy, the evil that befell the earth by the hands of men. It was tangible evil, an absence of humanity, what would have truly felt the end of the world had I been there.
I just finished “Things We Couldn’t Say” by Diet Eman, a Christian survivor of concentration camps due to her participation in the Resistance movement to help save and hide Jews. Her story is a miraculous one, full of life saving courage and a great, raw faith in God that is hard to imagine living out myself. I’ve rarely had the opportunity to trust God in such a brutal, helpless way but I’d like to believe I could if ever entrusted with the circumstances Diet came across. Truth be told, I hope I never have to. If such a horrible thing were to happen again, who would have the courage to save those who could not save themselves? Who would risk their lives to save many? Who would lie? Who would be cowardice and help the enemy to save their selves? And, honestly, how could blame them if they were that scared? There are so many hypothetical situations you can put yourself in when you read about Europe in World War 11. If we’re lucky, we’ll never have to experience anything like that. If we’re smart, we’ll figure out which character we might have played in the world during that time. I’d want to be none other than a Diet…I pray I would now develop the courage and character, faith and strength it would take to be her now.
On to the movie. I watched “Love and other Drugs” with Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathaway and took several things away from it. One — being in love in real life makes all those cheesy lines and intimate moments from a movie seem that much better. In the movie, Anne Hathway has early onset Parkinsons — a disease that will eventually render her immobile and practically helpless. In current time, she’s mostly okay and against her will, she falls for Jake. At a Parkinsons convention, Jake runs into an old man whose been married so a women with the disease for 30 years. When he asks the man for advice, he tells him to pack his bags and go find a healthy woman. “I love my wife,” the man said, “but I wouldn’t choose to do it again.”
To make a long story short, Anne and Jake break up and eventually get back together. At this point in their lives, they are healthy and in love and it seems impossible to give that up because eventually Anne will be unhealthy. I thought to myself, could I walk away from the man I love because someday he will be incapacitated? It’s hard to imagine I could. Also, because you don’t know what life will bring for you.
The movie also featured a handful of folks who actually have the disease in real life — and it was devastating to watch. I shed a lot of tears watching this one — seeing those afflicted with Parkinsons, and also feeling the characters’ fierce, real, life breathing love for one another. Being in love with someone seems in an inexplicable phenomenon. One day you are going along never even knowing who this person is. The next day, you can’t imagine your life without them. You need them to breathe right, your world is off kilter if they aren’t in it. He is the “drug” you need to make everything right again. It hurts even watching the preview — imagining the emptiness of not being together. Even when it’s just a movie, that kind of heartbreak hurts to see. To sum it up, the movie made me grateful for my health and my freedom — the unbridled luxury of a life unchained. And it made me appreciate the love I’ve found with someone who would “swim across shark-infested waters to bring me a lemonade” — as my mentor, Dr. Laura, always pounded into my brain. Here’s the trailer: