I just watched the movie "Rize," a documentary about clowning and krumping, styles of hip-hop dance. Even if you're not a fan of hip-hop, you really should watch this movie. It made me think about God and love. A lot.
The style was created in South Central LA, where broken families, drugs, gangs, and violence are an everyday reality. What really got to me is the way the leaders of the clown groups and krump groups took on younger dancers as their own families when they had none to love and care for them. One clown, Tommy the Clown, would get on their cases about hanging around gangs, getting into drugs, or even not doing their homework, and they respected him enough to follow through with it. He also wouldn't let them dance with him if they didn't keep themselves in line. It was all so positive and meaningful and no doubt has really saved lives from gang violence and drug addiction. And it's something I admire, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.
At church today, we went through a chart that compared the "rules of the game" for poverty, middle class, and rich culture. One of the first things listed was "possessions." Under "poverty" possessions meant people, relationships. I definitely saw that in this movie. When there was no security for life or money, the clown groups and families cared for each other like it held their cells together. Will I ever be able to understand or fulfill that for others? My middle-class family was pretty unaffectionate. My parents emphasized independence. As a result, it takes me a long time to feel like I can depend on someone or like I want them to depend on me. I don't want to resign to the idea that I'll never love like the family I had didn't. If the love of God is in my heart, than the love of people can surely be in there as well. If God has the power to change lives of drug dealers into hip-hop clowns, God can change an icy teachers' daughter into someone who loves like breathing.