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Belonging and Becoming in I've Loved You So Long

Matt Carter

I've Loved You So Long is a French language film, but don't let the fact that it uses subtitles put you off. This is a beautiful and challenging story about a protagonist who is just released from a 15-year prison term for killing her 6-year-old son. She moves in with her younger sister and her family. Needless to say, her presence within her sister's family, which includes two young children, is difficult for everyone. Nevertheless, there within that family, she finds a place of unconditional belonging. Out of the struggle of engaging in that belonging, she, her sister, and their entire family, become something greater together than they were when they began. 

Often in American Christianity, we imagine discipleship as a private individual effort. We might even interpret another's engaging with us about our personal faith journey as rude and intrusive. Yet, we learn how to be a Christian through our interactions and relationships with each other. We express what it means to be a Christian through these very things far more potently than any doctrine or truth we could say to someone else. 

In this story for example, the older sister learns what it means to be loved and to belong, while the younger sister learns what it means to suffer and patiently endure from her older sister. If these character traits and developments from a French film sound a bit like some of the fruit of the Spirit, it is because this story has this Christian echo within it even though it also contains fornication and murder, which may also in turn remind you of some of the twists and turns of the story in Genesis.

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