Saturday, July 21, 2012


What a week.

First, there was the hysteria on Rotten Tomatoes surrounding negative reviews of The Dark Knight Rises. Then, early on Friday in Aurora, Colorado, there was the tragic shooting during a midnight screening of the movie.

In both cases, the question on my mind and the minds of others is why? What makes people do the awful things they do, whether from behind their safe computer screens or in a vulnerable public space like a movie theater?

As a Christian, I'm supposed to have an inkling of an idea. There's the garden. The snake. History's first couple. And, of course, the forbidden fruit. Whether you believe the story really happened or you just believe in the truth of the story, this is how we Christian try to explain tragedy.

But in the face of what's happened this week, I'm speechless. I can't even say why these two events have affected me as strongly as they have. Maybe it's because, as Peter Labuza wrote on Friday, I spend a lot of time at the movies. It's not my church, but yes, there are similarities, and yes, the actions of James Holmes feel like an affront.

So the question on my mind now is this--to review or not to review?

Honestly, I don't see any point. What do movie reviews matter in the face of tragedy? It makes the very idea of blogging no more important than a piece of popcorn on a movie theater floor.

And yet.

"Why do we fall, Master Wayne?" That, of course, is a famous line from Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and if you've seen any of them, you know the answer.

"So we can pick ourselves back up."

Except that it wouldn't be right for me to stop there. You can call it irrational or illogical all you want, but I just don't believe that getting back up is something we have to do alone. However speechless I may be in the face of that question--why?--I do believe in a God of love and grace who can help us.

I'll close with this. It's a quote from Frederick Buechner that's helped me through difficult times, and maybe it can help someone else. It goes a little something like this:

"A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, 'I can't prove a thing, but there's something about his eyes and his voice. There's something about the way he carries his head, his hands. The way he carries his cross. The way he carries me."

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