In the course of discussions with my senior Comparative Religions classes, we inevitably wander our way down the rabbit trail of sovereignty and free will.
“If God knew we would sin, would hate, cheat, lie, and steal, why did he allow us to do so? Why create us at all?”
Why, when we inevitably choose wrong, are we able to choose at all?
Tonight I went to see The Giver with my little sister. The main character, Jonas, is the Keeper of Memories in a Community in which everyone is medicated and emotions are not experienced. Jonas experiences emotions, both good and bad, and realizes that love is more powerful than sameness, than safety, than “equality.”
I read the book as a middle schooler, but the movie, the juxtaposition of the greyscale Community with the brilliant color of this world, was overwhelming to me tonight.
I witness selfishness, entitlement, abuse, manipulation, anger, betrayal, and a host of other negative emotions and behaviors daily.
But as sunsets, courage, worship, joy, celebration, exhilaration, community, family, friends… LOVE… flashed across the screen, I was overwhelmed with the conviction that, as much as I would love to rid the world of hate and abuse and betrayal, to do so would, as the Giver tells Jonas, remove religion and faith and connection, home and family, and ultimately, free will. And without free will, we cannot choose love.
And more and more, I choose love.