Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Perks of Being Accepted


Seldom does a cinematic experience inspire the mind, refresh pensivity and elevate hope in perfect unison. But in case you’re on the hunt for the rare trio, consider Steve Chbosky’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower” (starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson), a film with a savvy script, accomplished by not only blending dark emotional content with charismatic eccentricity, but by merging human delicacy with authentic transparency. Likewise, by abandoning cliché techniques and creating relatable characters, the film does more than stir the soul, but advances perspective through an energizing dose of cadence and originality. And despite its whimsical charm, the heart of the film is never compromised: Sometimes, we just need to roll down the window and look up.

By delicately addressing the deep places of identity, the audience is given the chance to relate to various elements on multiple levels, especially through each character’s emotional intersection. No doubt, this is most succinctly evident in the movie’s tagline, boldly declared by an awakened protagonist:

“Right now we are alive and in this moment I swear we are infinite.”


Talk about an inspirited heartcry from an outcast wallflower. Even with a checkered past, nothing could discourage Charlie from embracing real, communal admission for the first time. And it’s here where many find themselves – pressed between the insecurities and thrills of being misunderstood loners longing for genuine relationship, willing to ride the wave of courage into fragile yet formative moments. So as we witness Charlie’s transformation in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, we connect to his awkward innocence within the ebb and flow of his maturation. As his confidence grows, we root him on. As philia love ripens, we find satisfaction. And as the turbulence of brokenness is corporately navigated, we anticipate breakthrough and rejoice in its fulfillment. By the time the credits roll, our sentimental soundtrack is passionately resonating with the reality of contagious love.

So in light of unconditional acceptance, why wouldn’t we want to perpetuate it? Why wouldn’t we take greater leaps of faith? Why wouldn’t we pursue the importance of being vulnerable? For we were made to enter in. We were made to be accepted. We were made to be peacemakers. We were made to forgive. We were made to confront injustice. We were made to put others before ourselves, while overcoming popular pressures with authentic action. Truly, the movie trumpets these truths in brilliant fashion, but it’s not until we look beyond the film’s capped candidacy that we begin to see glimpses of what God sees. And as scope broadens, we soon realize how no concocted buzz or spiritual high in the world can ever compare to the all-consuming, unrelenting mystery known as God’s absolute acceptance. His love is the only power worthy of intoxication. And by opening ourselves to believe this, we ultimately discover how his sovereign authority is everything - how his perfect providence is more than enough to complete us and dare I say... makes us feel infinite.

In this life, we're primed to accept the love we think we deserve. But if we accept the love we think we deserve, are we truly accepting love at all?

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." ~ 1 Peter 2:8-10 MSG

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