I recently watched “Flipped,” a Rob Reiner film based on the young adult novel written by Wendelin Van Draanen. I must admit that I have never read the book and had no clue what the plot would be, except that it was “a coming of age romantic comedy.” My main interest in the film came from the fact that one of the scenes was filmed in the Earhart Manor on the campus of Concordia University – Ann Arbor, so I really wanted to see how my alma mater looked on film.
As I watched, I found myself enjoying the plot and the interactions of Bryce and Juli. Having taught 7th & 8th graders for many years, I could see things in their interactions that reminded me of days gone by. I also enjoyed watching the film with my son, who also happens to be a 7th grader – just to gauge his interest in the plot and to use the film to spark future conversation. But as I watched, I found myself blown away by one quote.
Our leading “man” Bryce is talking to his grandfather about Juli – a neighbor who “flipped” for Bryce the moment she first saw him as a 2nd grader. To say he didn’t share her feelings would be an understatement. Bryce didn’t hate Juli, but she was definitely caught somewhere between being odd and having cooties. Juli came to the attention of Bryce’s grandfather after he read a newspaper article about her refusing to come down out of a tree that was about to be cut down. Grandpa Chet recognized Juli as a kindred spirit of his recently deceased wife, and seeing that connection he brought it to the attention of Bryce. Of course, Bryce wanted nothing to do with the advice, the article or with Juli, but he listened dutifully as his grandfather described the feelings he held for his spouse as they were rekindled by Juli’s protest.
“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss. But every once in a while you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”
Know anyone like that? I pray that you do. We all know people in flat – the woman in the car next to you on your drive home or the guy who reads your gas meter. We all know people in satin – people who friend you on Facebook who you went to high school with but haven’t seen or spoken to since, or the other parents at your child’s school who say good morning to you, but nothing more. We know the people in gloss – coworkers, family members we see once a year at the reunion, or our next door neighbors who shovel the snow from your walk before you can get to it. We all know these people; we’re surrounded by them every day. So what does it take to be iridescent?
How can I begin to explain it? They are those people in our lives for whom time stands still; the one who draws your attention the moment they enter the room. They aren’t your whole life, but they enhance it in a way that no one else can. What makes them iridescent? Is it something they possess or is it something we perceive? The answer is both. We all possess gifts that God placed into our DNA that align us perfectly with certain people. It becomes complete when we tear down our walls and allow that person to make a complete and total connection. We can see it in the face of the man or woman we love. Parents know this feeling the moment they see a child for the very first time. It’s the recognition of love in its truest form, and it is a gift that comes from God.
It’s amazing to consider that a God who made all of creation: snow-capped mountains, sunsets at the beach, rainbows in the sky and heavens filled with stars would look past all of that and boldly declare that you and I are His masterpiece. It was true when He created us, repeated when we fell, confirmed when He saved us, and completed when He welcomes us into His loving arms for an eternity with Him. Paul’s words in Romans 8:38-39 clearly establish this as truth in our lives. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Why go to so much trouble? Because in God’s eyes, we are iridescent.