Brenda’s Blog – April 15, 2014
“Follow the formula,” recommended my scriptwriter friend.
We were discussing the classic series, “Murder, She Wrote” starring Angela Lansbury. As a professional, he analyzed programs to find the structure. “The old ones are predictable. Intro, murder, confusion, arrest of wrong person (usually related to or befriended by Jessica), intriguing setup, and conclusion. On her shows they always ended with a charming exchange, laughter and freeze frame of Lansbury’s appealing smile.”
He pointed out the exact time marks. I applied his formula and sure enough – he was right. She risked life and limb at exactly the same point in the script episode after episode.
A dear artist friend walked me through an art gallery and showed me the classical technique of painting. She pointed out the intersecting diagonal lines with the focus at the center point, the horizontal lines which carried the viewer’s eye up, over, and down. She told me about light and balance as I stood transfixed watching each painting come under her trained eye.
Real life isn’t as easily unpacked as Jessica Fletcher mysteries, or Andrew Wyeth paintings.
I read recently the old philosophical musing of good and evil has changed in the last 30 years. We used to ask, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” Now the question is: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The underlying question is “Where is God when life seems unfair?” Another way of putting the question, “Why doesn’t God follow our formula and move accordingly to smiling freeze frame?”
There is comfort in knowing “His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.” His formula isn’t subject to TV time slots, artistic protocol, or our definitions of fair.
Formulae provide predictability; providence requires faith. But oh, the joy of stepping outside the lines and connecting the dots of His glorious plan.