Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yippee-kai-yay, Mother and Child By Sharon Lurie

© 2013 David's Harp and Pen

Mood:  Explosive

DISCLAIMERS: This blog is based, in part, upon actual events and people. Certain actions and characters have been dramatized and fictionalized, but are inspired by true events and real people. Certain other characters, events, and names used herein are entirely fictitious. Any similarity of those fictional characters or events to the name, attributes, or background of any real person, living or dead, or to any actual events is coincidental and unintentional, so I don’t want anyone to think I am promoting violence on the holidays, unless it’s necessary to get out of uncomfortable Christmas gatherings in which nosy people insist on asking you why it’s almost the end of another year and you’re still not married.

“Die Hard” is my favorite Christmas movie, which is a conundrum since I am also a big Jane Austen fan (a woman who likes both Georgian gentry romantic fiction and action thrillers walks a lonely road).  Alan Rickman, who plays the main antagonist in “Die Hard,” also plays Colonel Brandon in the 1995 film adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility.”

My girlfriends think Alan Rickman as Brandon is on parity with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy in the 1995 “Pride and Prejudice” miniseries.  They don’t understand why I can’t bear him as Marianne Dashwood’s future husband.    However, every time I watch “Sense and Sensibility” and try to imagine Alan Rickman sweeping off my feet in the rain, as soon as we get to the wedding scene, I imagine him reverting from an English brogue to a German accent, shooting me in the head, and running off with my negotiable bearer bonds on the way to our honeymoon.

Anywho, for those who don’t know, “Die Hard” is a film from the 80s starring Bruce Willis as New York policeman John McClane.  Estranged from his wife Holly, who has moved to California with their two kids, John flies to Los Angeles in an attempt to reconcile with her.  However, while visiting her at Nakatomi Plaza during her office Christmas party on December 24, the building is taken over by terrorists, led by Hans Gruber, who’s played by Rickman.  McClane escapes the party and tries to defeat the twelve terroists, who’ve taken everyone else in the building hostage.

Of course, the police get involved, and then the FBI.  For the sake of comic relief, filling 131 minutes of screen time, and advancing Bruce Willis’s career, law enforcement are complete idiots and only exacerbate the hostage problem.  So, the job of saving the day rests solely on John McClane’s shoulders.

Some say the movie is the first in a line of the modern cop movies.  Some say it’s a cliché-ridden popcorn flick full of plot holes and over-the-top theatrics that only serve to propagate the antiquated idea of the urban cowboy as it lines the pockets of film studio executives.  For me, it’s probably the greatest allegory of the coming of Christ I have seen put to film.  (To the myriad of online bloggers who insist “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie, take note!)

We became alienated from our true love.  In the meantime, we put ourselves on a collision course with a powerful enemy, one with an intricate plan to take from us what wasn’t his and destroy us in the process.

Our true love came to reclaim us as His own, but we resisted.  For a moment we forget what it was like to be in relationship with Him, and in that moment, the enemy struck.  However, as the full force of the love we left behind and its consequences hit, so did the full force of the jealousy He had for us.

True love sprung into action, and so began redemption’s great work.  He worked and lived among us, in our confines of terror and confusion that are often the hallmarks of human existence.  For the time being, He had to do the job of preparing our rescue in anonymous and clandestine fashion, and though it didn’t seem so at the time, His surreptitiousness was for our safety and benefit.

As we trembled in terror, the Word-Become-Flesh worked in the background, robbing the enemy of his weapons and his henchmen, quickly reminding the enemy of his shortcomings, which worked him into a stupefying rage.  However, each successive blow to the enemy came at great personal expense to the Pursuer of our souls.  He was forced to experience pain and peril previously unknown to Him.  He knew full well the blood He would have to shed.  But for Him, there would be no retreat.  Those on the outside had failed, and miserably so.  He had to succeed, because the apple of His eye was at stake.

Every great story has a pinnacle showdown between good and evil, and this one is no different.  The enemy was almost completely disarmed, but we the beloved didn’t know that.  All we knew was that we had death at our heads, and the sky was falling.

But then He appeared-bloodied, limping, and with singular purpose in His eyes.  He moved towards us as the enemy sneered.  Being the coward he is, the enemy put us between true love and himself.  He demanded He put down what appeared to be His only weapon, which He did, for love’s sake.

Then began that heart-stopping, breath-taking moment when the enemy rocked with laughter.  Strength fled from our spirits as we watched in disbelief what couldn’t possibly be the end.

But it wasn’t the end.  IT WASN’T THE END!!!!!  Love had a plan.  He always had a plan, and until that moment, no one could see it but Him.  Armed with the Life and the Promises of God, He not only bought us back for Himself, but He stole the keys to Hell and Death back from the epitome of evil himself.

As the enemy fell to his defeat, the Lion of Judah proclaimed, “Happy trails, Hans!”

No, not really.  He said, “Death has been defeated.  Hopelessness has been vanquished.  Sin has been conquered.  Addiction has been disarmed.  Abandonment has been given notice.  The thief of hearts has been subdued and can steal from the lives of the Beloved of God no longer!”

Friends, we are the ones who have been rescued in a tale so hyperrealistic it can’t be true.  Ah, but it is!  And because it pushes the confines of credibility that we can cry out, “Glory to God in the highest!”, even if we are an acrophobic cop from New York.  *wink*

The End