a week or so ago, mallory and i watched the movie “august rush” which is about a little boy who’s gifted musically and is trying to find his parents, who don’t really even know he exists. he believes that the music will bring them together and (sorry if i’m spoiling it for you, but really, it’s a movie, what did you expect?) of course, in the end, it does. they live happily ever after.

in john eldredge’s book “epic” he talks about how God’s story is interwoven into all our desires and even into our own greatest stories: the fact of some great struggle that we’re experiencing, the hero must make a decision and step out on faith, which ends up paying off and all ends well. we yearn for this story and tell it over and over again because it’s the story which is etched into our heart and that draws us back to God, generation after generation.

and i believe that. but here’s my question: if we recognize that and if we embrace that, then why does almost every story ignore that fact? why is God never mentioned anywhere, even when it is (arguably) so obvious?

because if you look at “august rush,” here’s this little boy who strikes out on his own and just happens to run into a nice homeless boy who becomes his friend. he happens to meet a nice social worker who looks out for him. he happens to walk into a church and the pastor takes the time to see the spark that lies within him and nurture that. he happens to meet the man who will give him good advice to take a risk. he happens to stay safe and optimistic and not ruined by all the hardship and anger and misery that swells all around him.

if you were to ask me about that movie, i’d say that God runs deep throughout the entire thing, that God is orchestrating all those episodes and guiding that little boy on his search for love and restoration. but God isn’t mentioned anywhere throughout. and even in christian fiction, God’s role is often watered down or only mentioned offhand, as in the protagonist goes to church or prays to God a couple times.

but it’s never like real life where it’s deep and meaningful, where me and my friends sit around and wonder aloud about God and talk about scriptures together and have real, live conversations and really spend time praying and fasting and praising and seeking out God. where are the modern stories about that? it’s his story, but we never give him credit for it or offer him the starring role! the only places you can really find that is in non-fiction or in memoirs/biographies.

it’s no wonder that people have to happen upon a real relationship with God in a happenstance sort of way. we’re not embracing and living it and modeling it deeply enough–so that it shows up in the stories, in the entertainment that we read and watch and enjoy.

i just don’t know why we don’t love God enough to include Him in these sorts of things, why we aren’t strong enough and trusting enough to take that bold move and inject him there, to take him public and sing his praises even there.