Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learning About Love - The End.

(click for sources, dawg)

How weird that my final chapter on love was driven home after watching the series finale of Lost.
And by now you've read every blog.
Everyone has sentimentally told you that the story is about the characters,
not the island.
It doesn't matter where the polar bears came from, folks.
They obviously originated from some frozen tundra, as most polar bears do.

Back in, was it August? a group of people who were mostly strangers started meeting at the home of Neil and Shannon Hoppe. At that point, we were just people watching Lost.
And then we started using the hashtag: #lostcommunitygroup.
Then we celebrated birthdays.
Then we talked about boys.
Then we wrote movies.
Then we became a family.
And before we knew it, we had more in common with the islanders than we realized.

Every Tuesday, sometimes 20+ people drove up to a two story brick home in Franklin and got to leave the baggage of life at the door (at which, we were usually greeted by one or more of the four Hoppe children, or Toothless the Dragon, as it has been lately). We got to stop working on Adventure Now, take a break from the conference we were planning, forget the classes we'd been in all week, and laugh about the possibility of getting letters from Hogwarts or talk about enrolling in high school as an adult as we all squished around the family dining table.*

As that familiar bass note concluded the series, I felt like I'd gone to a funeral.
With all of #LostCommunityGroup sitting in one room,
I felt like one of us had died.
I've watched the last episode twice on my own since then, each time fast forwarding to the moments where characters remembered their former lives.  

I cried the entire time. 

I cried when Kate delivered Aaron. I cried as Jack and Christian Shepherd hugged and spoke in the church. I cried when Ben apologized to Locke. I cried on the phone with Seth Worley. I cried reading the tweets of my fellow #LCG members. I knew we missed each other even though no one was leaving. No one was gone.

How could a place as empty and shallow as Hollywood
present us with beautiful and weighty television that the average person actually enjoyed?

Did Cuse & Lindelof intend to write a science fiction TV show as a way
to make viewers look honestly at their lives and consider what mattered-
Love, Hope, Integrity, Honor, Faith?

I saw the people I loved in that finale. 
Some of us are a little bit Hurley and a little bit Charlie.
Some of us are Jack.
Some of us are more Ben Linus than we care to admit.
I saw our love stories. I saw our heartbreaks. I saw our growth.
And it all made sense.

"This is the place you all made together so you could find one another." 
- Christian Shepherd

I'm reading this book called "The Dip" by Seth Godin. It's about knowing when to quit.
Most people quit when times get tough. It says people exercise to get in shape but they stop exercising as soon as their muscles hurt. Really, that hurt is the point when your muscles start growing. People quit at the sign of pain and they end up missing what they were really wanting. Making it to where you want to go means surviving the dip.

Dang. Digest that.

In the final episode, the biggest thing I saw was overwhelming love.
At the end of the characters' lives (however long or short those lives were),
they defied all limitations in order to be together.
They loved one another in a way that surpassed stereotypical television love: Jack, Kate, Bernard, Rose, Ben, Charlie, Vincent, everyone.
A fierce love:
The kind born from surviving trials together.
The kind that sacrifices.
The kind that waits.
That knocked the wind out of me because we usually see that love is something you can quit.

For you, I'd wait til Kingdom come.
Until my days, my days are done.
Say you'll come and set me free.
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me.
-"Til Kingdom Come" - Coldplay

And, believing that every experience in this life actually points back to who God is, I can only surmise that the tremendous emotion I've felt since the finale was just a glimpse of what He feels (not how He feels about Lost, how He feels about us).

A story about faith.
A story about sacrifice.
A story about seeing the truth.
A crazy story that is about everyone being together in the end.
Ringing any bells?
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to Eternity
"Hosanna" - Hillsong United

I got to feel an ounce of that when I watched Lost.
I got to experience a greater degree of it when I realized that there are people in my community-
I'd wait for them. I'd fight to be with them. I'd sacrifice over and over for them.
And that's not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to His love for us.
Our story isn't about a magical island or a smoke monster necessarily.
It's actually a story about a Heavenly Father sending a piece of Himself to bring His creation back to Him at any price. 

And the reviews on the Lost finale are mixed. People don't know what this sideways life was all about. Was Jack dead? Was everyone dead? How long has everyone been dead? But it's understandable. The world has a hard time understanding eternity, a place that is home to Something unconstrained by time. They also have a hard time seeing the bigger picture, myself included.

So this brings me back to the beginning,
laying in a field of bamboo, Vincent at my side.
I say that I'm starting to understand.

#LostCommunityGroup is something we made so we could find one another.
So we could remember and so we could let go.

I get to see it in us. I get to experience it through us. When Jack closed his eyes at the end, I understood that feeling of love because of us. And "us" right now is just a flash sideways, because one day, we're going to be us in a place described in Revelation. A place where we'll be together with Him after waiting for so long. 'Til then, we'll live it out and remember through loving one another here.

What is love? I don't even know if that's the right question, but I had an answer from the beginning.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Cor 13:4-7
I love you guys.

*Already, in re-reading this, I miss them. I miss our first meal of Island boar and Dharma sauces and pineapple from Hawaii. I miss how loud everyone is when they're talking and laughing. I miss the pats on the back and Shannon hugging us as hard as she could before sending us out the door at the end of the night. No one's gone and I miss them.


pemmyk said...

words of beauty.

can't wait to meet you! :)

Lauren said...

well said, sweet thing.