Monday, April 29, 2013


There are three movies I reference in my book, two of which are Tom Hanks classics – Big and Castaway.  For years I claimed Big as my favorite movie of all time.  I’m not sure if it really was my favorite, or if I just really appreciated the indoor trampoline and the big piano at F.A.O. Schwarz.  Regardless, Big was the first movie I ever owned, and I find great irony that I also ended up in New York City in my 30s, playing that same piano.

I dropped by that piano not too long ago.  And later on, I also dropped by Tom Hanks’ Wikipedia page.  Under his personal life, I was surprised to find summed up so succinctly what 10 years of theological training took me to understand – that our theological framework for understanding God MUST include mystery.

Wikipedia writes:

Regarding his religious views, Hanks has said, "I must say that when I go to church—and I do go to church—I ponder the mystery. I meditate on the 'why?' of 'Why people are as they are' and 'Why bad things happen to good people,' and 'Why good things happen to bad people'... The mystery is what I think it is, almost, the grand unifying theory of mankind."[9]

9 ^ a b Terry Mattingly (March 25, 2009). "Mattingly: Tom Hanks talks about religion". Scripps Howard News Service. Retrieved December 14, 2012.

Last July I wrote the final chapter for my book at Spring Hill Camps and my landing point, after much struggle, is the mystery of God.  Mark Olson, a former director of the camp, passed away at the age of 42, leaving behind his wife, 4 children, and these words:
“Where there is clarity, there is no room for faith and trust.  This life we are to live, Jesus called a relationship.  Within a relationship, there is always mystery.”

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