Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Trouble with Angels

We talk a lot about calling in the church.  I can't count how many times I've leaned on Frederick Buechner's description:  "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the  world's deep hunger meet."  I love that.

If you were to rewind my life you would note a couple of worn out VHS tapes.  Muppet Musicians of Bremen, Christmas Toy and Splash probably top the list but rounding out the favorites is The Trouble with Angels.

The Trouble with Angels stars Hayley Mills.  (Lindsay Lohan is not the real star of Parent Trap, friends.)  The Trouble with Angels is about two precocious teenagers sent off to Catholic boarding school.  Mary and Rachel are thick as thieves and wreak hilarious havoc on the nuns and students. You can actually feel the prank coming!  A cheshire cat grin fills Mary's face as she says "I've got the most scathingly brilliant idea!"  Mary teases her cousin Marvel-Ann (awesome name) to no end and is caught red-handed over and again.  It's really quite funny.

As Mary and Rachel grow and mature so does their sense of purpose.  Mary's "deep gladness" almost sneaks up on her.  The very patient Reverend Mother helps Mary and Rachel listen to God.  It's a poignant picture of the sometimes surprising nature of call.  I really want to tell you what happens, but I really want you to watch the whole thing right now.  Rent it.  Borrow it from me.

The Trouble with Angels helped teach me God calls all kinds of people to do God's work:  silly, serious, mischievous, extroverted, introverted, loud, quiet, young, old, confident, unassuming, people we expect and others who might make our jaws drop.  If you don't believe me there is a book I might suggest...da Bible.  It is filled with called folks of all kinds.

Call is a lightning bolt for some and a journey for others.  No matter the speed all Christians need patient mentors.  Why pray tell?  Friends, it takes a gifted mentor to look beyond laundry detergent in the sugar bowl.  I mean, that's hilarious and all but not so much to a gathering of serious nuns.

Here's hoping a little Reverend Mother can rub off on all of us.


  1. John was just discussing this on Wednesday night (though he did not quote Buechner). His clip came from Chariots of Fire, if you can imagine. Oh how I love to consider that crossroads of deep gladness and deep hunger!

  2. Chariots of Fire has one of my favorite quotes: "When I run I feel His pleasure." How cool you discussed just last night!