Loop of Life

I’m bad with plot summary; it is what it is; I’ll give my subjective take on Looper.

To me, more than the actual job description and requirements of a looper, the essential theme is one that fixates on the “Loop of Life”. Joe’s conviction to kill his old self at the end is the very conviction that was lacking in the early stages of his killing career. Blunderbussing person after person, he enters a cycle or loop of mundane life- silver is his silver lining- proven by selling off his best friend; he shoots drugs into his eyes each morning turning his life upside down- a mental distortion of reality vs. fantasy.;  he loops because he has no way out- in essence, he is a slave to this “Loop of Life”.

Yet, this roller coaster ride needs maintenance; hence, his old self comes into the picture; His old self wants to guide his younger self into safety- eventually out of this loop. The dynamic of this mirroring relationship brings us forth to a closer revelation of the question that begs an analysis:

Which loop matters?

First Loop: Joe lets his future self live. Rain Maker’s feeling of bitterness and anger that stems from his mom’s death leads him to be more revengeful and augments the depths of “You are a liar” to be words borne out of a chaotic childhood; hence, he may in actuality live out to the be true Rain Maker as his life unfolds or as the story goes.

The Second Loop: Joe kills his future self to stave off the possibility of Rainmaker’s future troublesome adolescence and adulthood. He undoes his loop because it prevents others from living lives that may not result in a loop- perhaps there is real love and strength- as shown by the Rain Maker’s mother- who knows that although she can’t undo her past, she is able to make choices for the future. In what ways will her child best know that his mother loves her and may well be the only person that she loves so dearly. Isn’t her love the best source of physical, motherly love in this world? Truly, Joe prevented a loop from occurring in the Rain Maker’s life. Joe wanted the child to have a better life than he had- a script and story that looped out of the one that he knew to be uninviting and shameful- He didn’t want the child to become like him. The mother was right. What if her love can guide her son in the right direction? What if it’s love that prevents him from looping in the future? What if she can be patient and kind knowing that her son needs her? What if he can become someone else than the infamous future Rain Maker? Joe provides her the opportunity to live life with her child- that is all she asks and that is the most important thing he can give to her. Life without a loop.

Jesus,

In no way is my life supposed to be a loop of mundane or even egocentric ways of propping myself to a secure future. My life is supposed to be a reflection of your life- one that looped in constant love and compassion instead of a loop that is manipulated by the driver-seat, free-wheeling devil. Sufficiently, you are my Savior- your plan was for us to live life and for us to know your grand life. I’m so thankful that your sacrifice was the means to a life without a loop.

 

Scratchers for Breakfast

I started this morning by scratching the surface of deferred action. I am one of an estimated 72,000 undocumented applicants  who hope for a free range of possibilities (work permits, driver’s license and the likes). After taking a cute picture and imprinting my sanitized fingers for government records, I went to the “House of Breakfast” to eat dinner- just kidding, to break my eight hour fast. 

We both ordered the daily special: Sirloin tips with rice. The title is a bit misleading; We ate stew for breakfast. Sitting on the counter to the very left of us was an elderly Asian woman, a regular at the House, whose conversation flowed in Japanese between her and the waitress. In this elderly woman’s hand were a stack of scratchers and if that wasn’t enough, she bet her chances by buying additional lottery numbers at the liquor store next door. Finally prepared, she shuffles each card neatly and starts to systematically undo the film of these scratchers with the handle of her fork. An African American lady peers over her shoulders before heading out and the woman responds, “7 dollars I got” in her unimpressive grammar, but adorable demeanor. With the support of “Ooh, good luck”, the lady exits the House. Physical pixels of debris mounted next to her plate of ham and hash browns, as she peered through each one of the remaining scratchers with the hope that “7 dollars I got” was the start of “Good Luck”. 

Image

For all of us, life did not make a wager with us, but for some of us, we make a wager with life. God did not form us by scratching away at who we were to become; I am not who I am today because God surprised himself by uncovering my gifts and talents. He was intentional to create me out of love. God does not activate tsunamis or earthquakes by peeling at the surface of random chance, but with every decision, He remains merciful and just. He is not the author of wrongdoings, and while he does have dominion over the random, He does not randomly relate to us. We are not random people governed by random circumstances living in a random world- we are a purposeful bunch, given purposeful circumstances in this purposeful life. We are each given the exciting freedom to give Him glory.

I felt for that elderly woman; somewhere in life, she lost vision of real joy; I pray that our lives would scratch the depths of His heart and glory each day, uncovering what is not yet seen or heard- that there is so much more that He is willing to show us if only we were a willing people to peel the realms of what is possible for what is impossible. If only we were to peel away our grandiose faith for a child-like faith and peel away our calloused hearts for an obedient heart would we be victorious. He waged His son’s life so that we would not wage our own; I’m a true winner today. 

Mind Games

If there is any compelling reason to write a blog, this particular one stems from the one-two punch of my pastor’s sermon yesterday and the always so- convicting Charles Spurgeon:

From the non- Christian to the polar opposite, I find myself often “quantifying the situation”. The situation is the circumstantial and contextual ranging from what is possible to what is impossible – again, the notions which we have come to quantify ourselves through our dwarfed experience and reason. We tend to discard formulas which have never been proven- not proven because it’s HARD and it doesn’t make SENSE. This mathematical WORD problem that is the basis of our struggle not with sin, but rather our struggle to read His word and live out His word through prayer and action.  So we end up binding our struggles to the situation; we add the two together and find ourselves only able to answer the primitive nature of faith without exploring the boundaries of multiplying what God has shown us to be possible with a stone-calloused heart- a sinner who comes to repentance: a sinner to saint and more importantly a non-believer to a BELIEVER.

I often quantify those worth serving to those who are not worth serving which highlight my foundations of not caring enough. In addition, I quantify whether healing is possible- sure, his sprained ankle will get better with time, but can I factor Jesus into this equation? His sprained ankle will get better right now = Jesus’s mighty name. And so it is with each new person that I meet and each new encounter that I have (for a lack of a more complex thought), judging incessantly and therefore, applying my own terms to the equation. So Spurgeon helps counsel my mind games with the following:

David might have said, “I am a shepherd, and I can fight with lions, but I was never trained to war, and therefore I had better let this Philistine alone.” To continue, “Brethren, if we have achieved success by the power of God, let us not dote upon some supposed adaptation, but stand prepared to be used of the Lord in any other way which he may choose.”

Therefore, instead of quantifying, “Prove your qualifications by bringing Goliath’s head back with you, and no further questions will be asked by any one, or by yourself.”