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  • Stephen D Blum Jr

Watching Second Hand Lions ..

In the movie Second Hand Lions a shy adolescent boy, Walter (Haley Joel Osment) is taken by his greedy mother (Kyra Sedgwick) to spend his summer with his two hard-boiled great uncles, Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine). Initially the uncles find Walter a nuisance, but gradually warm up to the boy and enthrall him with tales from their past. Walter reawakens their youthful spirit. From Arab princesses to the French Foreign Legion, the uncles flood Walter with amazing and unbelievable tales and adventures. They mail-order a live animal target and end up with an old, tame female lioness which they turn over to Walter as a pet. She escapes to their cornfield which becomes her new "jungle", where she is brought a daily supply of "lion chow". Walter follows his uncles one day to discover they even have a secret "money room" located under the barn.

Walter's mother returns for him eventually, but he asks to be returned to his uncles, who are delighted. They agree to provide for his education and to take care of their health so Walter will have them a long time.

17 years later Walter is notified of his uncle's deaths (resulting from a failed biplane stunt) and makes his way to the farm to be handed the will, which declares "The kid gets it all. Just plant us in the damn garden". Then a helicopter touches down near the homestead with the title "Western Sahara Petroleum" and a man steps out with a young boy at his side and explains they heard about Hub and Garth's deaths on the radio. He recognized the names as the two Americans in tales told to him in his youth by his grandfather, a "very wealthy sheik". When the man's boy asks if the two uncles really lived, a broad smile creases Walter's face, and he says "Yeah, they really lived".

What if the very best stories ever, the ones that make laugh or cry, that filled your child heart with wonder and awe, too fantastic for any educated adult to believe . . turned out to be true?

What if Cinderella really did get to go to the ball? What if little David really did kill the giant? What if we really can live happily ever after? God is whispering to us through all these amazing stories, stories which are, in the end, only pale imitations of their pungent, virile realities.

Reality is not less, but more than you can possibly imagine. Our deepest aspirations and dreams exist for a reason. Why do we have them?

As far as we know, every felt need in nature is met. We are hungry, food is given. We get tired and are given night time, sleep, and the bonus of a moon! We need babies to continue our species, and are given wives and love. The list is endless and pervades every strata of creation. Every need (even for plants and animals) is graciously supplied, in spades!. Why not then these fanciful, spiritual yearnings?

To those who have ears I have great news. It's . . all . . true. Ebenezer Scrooge is miserable because his dreams have died. And when your dreams die, you are left bitter, hopeless and venomous to those around you. He only regains hope when he regains faith. In God's good Gospel all the yearnings of Man are realized and fleshed out in time and space. Heaven is coming to Earth . . and YOU are invited to the party!

"A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, "Wonderful Counselor," "Mighty God," "Eternal Father," "Prince of Peace."

His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David's successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The LORD Almighty is determined to do all this." (Isaiah 9:6, 7 Good News Bible)

Christmas celebrates the epitome of realized dreams. YOU exist for a reason. Eternal Life is a real thing, and YOU can have it! Jesus died just for YOU, and has guaranteed the safe arrival at His side for all who will simply . . wait for it . . trust Him.

We DO get to go to the ball, and be with the One we love, happily ever after!

And by the way . . happy Christmas!

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