So I just got back from the opening night of Argo with some friends. Ben Affleck and George Clooney produced the thing, and Affleck was the star. No spoiler alert, suffice it to say it was an edge-of-your-seat affair about a Latino CIA spook who was instrumental in the release of the hostages during the 1980 Iran hostage crisis.
Go see this thing. Affleck has made a successful transition from man-candy actor to legitimate director, and perhaps, most astonishingly a patriot! In the liberal Hollywood establishment, this is amazing.
I love a good movie that makes you think. Lately, those of you who have been with me for a while, know that I’ve been ruminating a lot lately about people’s character. The “Chandler” posts, after I stopped bleeding, were actually pretty instructive. What kind of person do I want around me, anyway? Who are you?
In Argo, the “Tony Mendez” character kept reassuring these hostages ‘It’s what I do, and I’ve never left anyone behind.’ No one asked him to risk his life to be murdered by crazed Iranians, it was what he did. Over and over, he drilled the hostages in procedure, and persistence, and teeth-rattling bravery. It was what he did.
Recently, some very kind friends have made some comments to me about my persistence in the face of religious persecution by the state of Colorado. I don’t have the irrevocable hard copies in my hand, so I can’t get quite specific yet. Suffice it to say the government of Colorado doesn’t like faith-based preschools, and did it’s very best to eradicate mine.
No. It’s what I do. No. I can’t stand a bully. No. I will NOT allow bullying in any form, even from the government. No. NO! The outcome of this battle was never assured. I could have lost just as easily as won. I have found that character is not often influenced by win/lose selfish scenarios. I WOULD NOT allow something that’s just wrong to happen, if I have any say in the matter. Even if I lost, I would lose with my side of the street clean, no regrets, nothing done differently.
Melanie Curtis, my business and life coach, is constantly encouraging me to a higher self, a better, more loving, more aware place to be. During the entire preschool ordeal, she helped me clarify why I was doing this, and how far I was willing to go. Would I, like Jefferson, pledge (work) lives, fortunes, and sacred honor?
Hell, yes. It’s the principal of the thing, dammit. I have lost wages for nearly four months. My teachers didn’t get a raise. We couldn’t go to the annual teachers conference that I look forward to every year. My character and motivation was impugned at every opportunity by desk bound critics held hostage by their own anti- school choice, anti-family agendas. My teachers were subject to extreme, humiliating inspections and questioning that government based preschools simply never get.
No. I would rather lie down on a train track than give up what’s so important to me. During the whole ‘Chandler’ ordeal, I often heard the refrain “People change.” Actually, not so. It’s more like people are revealed. When the chips are down, when bravery, money, self-control, persistence, unselfishness, kindness or other hard things are required, you get to see what people are made of. I find if you frame it like that, I am actually thankful for some of the trials Jesus promises us. You really get a lot of clarity.
One of my companions tonight was someone who has proven herself to be in my trusted inner circle. “Rebecca” has a serious, nagging, constant health issue. It prevents her from driving, and doing other activities of daily life.
Yet during the hardest part of Chris’s cancer ordeal, Rebecca’s Godly character held like a steady, bright flame. She babysat my kids, cleaned my house, had her kids help steady mine, with never a single complaint or sigh of impatience. Rebecca is a gift. In a somewhat frail package, Rebecca has the character of a rock.
Some Christians say hard times are coming. I’m not the apocalyptic type, but these days, I wonder. Who would have thought I’d nearly be driven out of business because of my faith? I wonder.
I do wonder. But I stand firm. With the help of God and my trusted countrymen, because it’s what we do.