Joy & Sorrow

Posted on: June 7th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

The other night Amy and I decided to watch an old Disney movie celebrating its 60th anniversary, a movie that I hadn’t seen named “Pollyanna.”  Now, I didn’t really care about watching the movie, if I’m being honest, but since I had forced her to watch one of my favorites in “The Princess Bride” I figured I could watch one of hers.  And as the movie played across our TV screen, I found it nice and sweet and uplifting.  I enjoyed the message of living and hope that came from Pollyanna’s interactions with the people in the town.  And then, BOOM.  It took a dark turn.

  SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT AND IF YOU HAVEN’T IT HAS BEEN 60 YEARS SO THAT IS YOUR FAULT.  😊 All the sudden, Pollyanna falls from a tree and is paralyzed.  I was flummoxed.  I was beside myself.  This feel good movie had turned dark and turned dark fast.  Quickly.  I was upset.  I felt the movie had betrayed me. I was in disbelief.  I think Amy enjoyed my reaction.

   But as I thought about it later, what was this very Disney, very happy movie with a lightening quick dark turn, reminded me of life.  Life doesn’t always go like a happy movie.  Sometimes life takes a hard and difficult turn.  I thought about what it felt like when I was told my Dad had cancer and the times in my ministry when I’ve sat with people after like turn a hard turn.  There is disbelief.  There is sadness.  There is anger.  And there is pain, suffering, and hurt.

   Yet, life isn’t exclusively one or the other.  There are times of hurt when things are good and times of joy when things are bad.  In the midst of it all is hope.  In “Pollyanna,” the town that received hope from Pollyanna rally around her and help to restore her hope after her accident. For us, our hope is restored through our Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus is with us, in the good and the bad, and through it all we have hope knowing that we are not alone.  No matter what happens, our loving shepherd is there for you and for all of us.

   Life is not like a movie. But sometimes movies open a window into life.  Life is full of joy.  Life is full of sorrow.  It seems to see-saw from one to another in an instant.  But in the midst of it all is our Savior.  Who weeps with us.  Who celebrates with us.  Who loves us.  And who always gives us hope.  Hold onto that hope every day and share that hope with others.