I watched the television screen and I couldn’t help, but get a tad depressed. My wife and kids started streaming the movie Love Actually and I watched with fascination the opening scene with the travelers arriving at Heathrow Airport.
Oh, I’ve watched the 2003 movie hundreds of times, it’s one of my wife’s favorites and we usually watch it at least once during the holidays. No, I watched with fascination and depression, because airports in the age of Covid have become ghost towns, places to avoid at all costs, not places to migrate.
To top off my depression, I had been reading with a mixture of horror and anger the latest news about the new Covid vaccine. One story talked about the politics of the vaccine and how some politicians, without real need, have jumped the line to get the shot. Another story touched on how the hospital administration at one hospital had skipped over emergency workers on the front lines. I read too with horror at how one conservative commentator had made false claims and spread disinformation about the vaccine.
So as the opening scenes came on the screen, I stewed in anger. I wondered why people can be so hateful and hypocritical. I stewed some more, but fortunately for me, I focused on the movie instead of wallowing in my anger.
Now the movie is as sappy at they come and has a ton of plot issues, but, the more I watched, the more the opening monologue calmed me. Hugh Grant narrates the scene, saying, yes, we live in a world of hate and greed, “but I don’t see that. It seems me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.”
Grant’s opening monologue references the September 11 attacks, but he could have just as easily been talking about families trying to survive the coronavirus. “When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love, actually, is all around.”
Yes, love is all around. In the end, that’s exactly the message I needed.
It made me no less angry, but it gave me hope that we can all do better. It’s the message that Jesus Christ would certainly have for us during this strange and crazy year. Merry Christmas everyone!
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